Friday, October 14, 2011

The Ides of March

My View:  The Ides of March:   George Clooney, who wrote and directed this film, stars as a top Presidential candidate who is in a neck-and-neck race to get the Democratic nomination.  Ryan Gosling (Drive) plays his top media strategist who believes that Clooney’s character is the man for the job.  Things start to go wrong for Gosling when he takes a phone call from the campaign manager of the rival candidate.  This is an old fashioned political thriller with many twists and turns.  Clooney is surprisingly only a supporting character in this film.  In fact, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Clooney’s campaign manager) and Paul Giamatti (the rival campaign manager) have almost as much screen time.  I liked this film, but I didn’t love it, and I think it’s because Gosling just doesn’t have much of a range as an actor. That’s not a good thing when you’re in a film with Clooney, Giamatti and Hoffman.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   The Ides of March Website
Indyfest (A Look at a Small, Indie or Foreign Film):  Restless   Mia Wasikowska (Alice in WonderlandThe Kids Are All Right) plays a girl who is dying of cancer.  She meets a strange, shy boy (played by newcomer Henry Hopper) at a funeral.  She soon discovers that he attends strangers’ funerals for fun and has a ghost, a dead Japanese kamikaze pilot, as a best friend.  The couple begins hanging out and eventually falls in love, but his dark past and her coming death are big obstacles to overcome.  Wasikowska is sharp and appealing as the intelligent girl who is doomed to die, and Hooper is pleasant as the troubled boyfriend.  While the film is about a dying girl, it’s more about the message of living life to its fullest while you can.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Restless Website
The 50 (a Movie From My Best/Worst Films of All Time)
#33 Best Film
Bringing Up Baby (1938)  This film, directed by Howard Hawks, is the quintessential “Screwball Comedy,” and its plot has been copied many times.  Cary Grant plays a befuddled paleontologist on the brink of getting a 1 million dollar donation for his museum.  He is engaged to his capable assistant, who runs and organizes his life.  His world is turned upside down when he meets a young heiress (played by Katharine Hepburn) who, at every turn, complicates his life.  This movie moves at almost breathtaking speed with hilarious scenes and lines rapidly played out.  How can you not love a film that has a leopard named “Baby?”   Bringing Up Baby Website
Forgotten Film:  The Stunt Man (1980)  Steve Railsback plays a man who is on the run from the police.  While fleeing, he comes upon a movie being made about World War I and accidentally causes the death of one of the stunt men.  The director of the film (played by Peter O’Toole in an Oscar nominated role) knows what has happened and makes a deal that he won’t say anything if Railsback takes the dead man’s place.  Peter O’Toole is brilliant as the eccentric film director who puts Railsback in more and more dangerous stunts as the film is shot.  Barbara Hershey is absolutely gorgeous as the actress starring in the WWI film and who falls in love with Railsback, much to the displeasure of O’Toole.  This is a fascinating film, and much like the character Railsback plays, you don’t know if what you’re seeing is make believe or real.   My Rating:  Full Price   The Stunt Man Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD): Horrible Bosses (2011)  I didn’t like this movie when I reviewed it in July.  I wanted more of the bosses (played by Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell) and less of the three employees (played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) who try to kill their bosses.  The movie goes for the cheap laugh too often and wastes the talents of the cast.  My Rating:  Cable   Horrible Bosses Website
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Johnny English Reborn   I’m not a big Rowan Atkinson fan, so I doubt I will be seeing this 007 spoof film about a bumbling English spy - a sequel to Johnny English (2003).  Yeah, I haven’t heard about that film either.   Johnny English Reborn website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Ides of March:  Executive Producer – Leonardo DiCaprio

Flictionary (a Definition of a Film Term):  Script Supervisor:  Responsible for keeping track of what has been shot and is in charge of continuity.  The Script Supervisor takes pictures and makes notes so that everything appears to look the same to ensure continuity from shot to shot.  This position works very closely with the prop department and the director.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  My Week With Marilyn   Michelle Williams plays Marilyn Monroe in this film about the making of the movie, The Prince and the Showgirl.  Williams rarely disappoints, and this will be the first non-Harry Potter film for Hermione Granger.   My Week With Marilyn Website
Until Next Time!

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