Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook

My Review:  Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Pat (Bradley Cooper) has lost just about everything – his wife, his job and his house. After spending eight months at a court mandated mental institution, he returns to his childhood home to get his life back on track and lives in the attic, a small cramped space above his parents’ (Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver) room. At a dinner party thrown by his best friend Ronnie (John Ortiz) and his wife Victoria (Julia Stiles), he meets Victoria’s sister, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widow. At the dinner table the two discover they have something in common – they are both struggling with mental problems. And so begins an unlikely friendship. This is a funny, moving film that deals with a problem that many people and many characters in this film struggle to understand – mental illness. Director David O. Russell does a masterful job of keeping the right touch of laughter combined with the scary reality offamily and friends dealing with a person who isn’t always stable. This film drags a little until Tiffany’s appearance at a dinner party, where she and Pat argue about what drugs they have both taken to treat their illnesses. Lawrence brings both an energy and a vulnerability to the screen, driving the story along, and sometimes at break neck speed. The film has an incredible cast with Julia Stiles, Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker shows a wonderful comic touch as Pat’s friend from the institution. This film is worth your time and money, especially for Jennifer Lawrence’s performance, a sure Oscar nominating role.    My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again   Silver Linings Playbook Website
My View:  Life of Pi (2012) A young man survives a shipwreck only to be lost at sea on a large lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger. Now he must survive using his wits and the teachings of his father. This is a film that you need to see in theatres because its beauty almost spills off the screen. Suraj Sharma plays Pi, and he gives a multilayer performance. The Tiger is mostly animated, but it's so well done that you never question its authenticity. This is deeply spiritual film and shows a young man embracing his religious beliefs to make it through this disaster. And, after seeing this film, you will want to talk about it.   My Rating: Full Price    Life of Pi Website
My View: Red Dawn (2012) When Washington state is invaded by North Koreans, a group of teenagers, led by a marine (Chris Hemsworth) who is home off leave, take matters into their own hands and start fighting back using tactics from the more famous insurgent groups of the past. This film lets the viewers down on almost every aspect including its horrible direction with action sequences done with camera work so shaky that, at times, you have no idea what is happening. Chris Hemsworth gives almost no emotional range in this film with his very wooden performance. The original film was fun and full of life, but this film is dull and boring.    My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again.    Red Dawn Website
Family Faire: Rise of the Guardians (2012) When the evil spirit, Pitch (voiced by Jude Law), attacks Earth, the Immortal Guardians fight to protect the children. In this wonderfully animated film, the Guardians are made up of Santa Claus (voiced by Alec Baldwin), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Sandman (who doesn't talk), and The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman). Jack Frost (Chris Pine) has been asked to join the group, and he may be key to defeating Pitch and his plan to conquer the world. I really liked this film with its animation and use of 3-D to great effect. It's a funny, fun film to watch with a new take on all of our childhood heroes. I especially enjoyed Alec Baldwin as a tattooed, sword wielding Santa Claus and Jude Law as the delightfully evil Pitch.    My Rating: Full Price    
Indiefest:  Anna Karenina (2012) In 19th century Russia, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) is a married woman with a small boy and is living a content life with her aristocratic husband. Then she meets Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) with whom she proceeds to have an affair, and it’s a relationship that will change her life and the lives of everyone around her. This is a beautiful film that is worth seeing for the interesting staging that the director, Joe Wright, uses - characters interacting with each other on a theatre stage. As the cast move from scene to scene, the stage transforms behind them in an almost magical ways, becoming a ballroom one moment and a train station in another. Keira Knightley does a touching job as Anna, but it's Aaron Taylor-Johnson who steals the film as the brash Count Vronsky.    My Rating: Full Price    Anna Karenina Website
Forgotten Film: Baby Boom (1987) J.C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton) is a high powered businesswoman so dedicated to her job that she is known as the “tiger lady."  She is happy in her career making big deals in New York City and living with her boyfriend when her world is changed.  A relative dies, and J.C. is given their baby. She, at first, tries to handle the job and the baby, but. after losing a big promotion, she decides to shake things up and move to a small town in Vermont. There she finds that the country life she has always envisioned doesn’t quite meet up to her expectations. Keaton gives a funny and smart performance and has great chemistry with her love interest in the film, the local vet, played by Sam Shepard. The film is full of rich, wonderful characters which make it one you will want to see over and over again.    My Rating: Full Price    Baby Boom Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Rise of the Guardians: Ethnic Percussion

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: This is 40 (2012) Judd Apalow’s sequel, sort of, to Knocked Up, with Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, and Melissa McCarthy. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl are not in this film, which is probably a good thing.   This is 40 Info
Until Next Time!

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