Friday, April 29, 2011

Water for Elephants

My View:  Water for Elephants (2011)  Robert Pattinson plays a Veterinarian student at the height of the 1930’s depression, and, on the day of his final exams, loses his parents in a car crash. Now homeless, he runs away to join the circus.  Oscar-Winning (Best Supporting Actor, 2009) Christoph Waltz manages the circus with a mob-like iron hand, with his wife, played by Oscar-Winning (Best Actress, 2005) Reese Witherspoon, who is the star attraction of the big show. Its love at first sight for Pattinson, as he falls for Witherspoon, but he knows he can’t get involved with the boss’ wife because of the obvious consequences. This is a lush-looking film, reminiscent of the MGM films of the forties and fifties, and it’s excellent at revealing the bold, brassy world of the Big Top.  The weak link in this movie is Pattinson; he often looks lost and just can’t seem to keep up with the acting chops of Witherspoon and Waltz.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Water for Elephants Website
The 50 (a movie from my best/worst films of all time):
#45 Best Film:
Vertigo (1958)  Alfred Hitchcock directed this psychological tale of a man, played by Jimmy Stewart, who investigates the mysterious comings and goings of a friend’s wife.  Kim Novak plays the mysterious woman and captivates Stewart so much that he becomes obsessed with her.  Part mystery, part thriller, this film utilizes many beautiful San Francisco locations in Technicolor glory.  Hitchcock’s direction pulls you into the story from the beginning, and while Novak’s acting is a little lacking, Stewart gives one of his best performances as the conflicted detective.   Vertigo Info
Forgotten Film:  Cold Comfort Farm (1995)  Kate Beckinsale plays a 20 year-old orphan who comes to live with her distant relatives. The farm is quite dreary, but the relatives are even more so.  Beckinsale is a breath of fresh air to the farm, and she sets out to change each of her relative’s lives.  Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry round out the cast in this warm and funny comedy, but it’s Beckinsale and her performance that make this film worth watching.    Cold Comfort Farm Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):   Moguls & Movie Stars:  History of Hollywood (2011)   This is a captivating history of the Hollywood studio system, from the beginning of the industry in New York with Thomas Edison to the downfall of the system in the 70’s.  Produced by Tuner Classic Movies, it’s a fascinating look on how movies were made and the people who made them.  This film encompasses many great interviews and lots of rare footage.   Moguls & Movie Stars Info

Weird Credits:   From the credits of Water for Elephants:  Stampede Girl

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Tree of Life   Written and directed by Terrence Malick, Brad Pitt is the father of three boys in the 1950’s.  Sean Penn plays one of the grown sons who is dealing with his troubled childhood in present day.  The trailer for this movie is captivating, and I can’t wait to see it.   The Tree of Life Trailer
Until Next Time!

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