My View: Killing Them Softly (2012) Two men (Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn) decide to make some easy money, so they hold up a poker game. The big problem - it's Mob-protected game, and Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is sent to find the men and kill them. Pitt plays the killer Cogan with ease and skill, but you just wish he had a better storyline to showcase his talents. This film seems to want to make lots of points about politics and the economy as every mobster’s car radio and every bar scene is playing some sort of sound clip about the failing economy. I felt that James Gandolfini was wasted as the hit man who doesn’t want to do anything other than get drunk and sleep with hookers. Besides Pitt’s character, the one interesting part of this film is the character Ray Liotta plays - a man who runs the poker games and is now in trouble with the Mob. This is an ultra-violent film where bullets fly in slow motion, and you hear bones crunching under the weight of a punch. The action, though, is too few and far between which makes this film one that is mostly about uninteresting characters talking about nothing to each other. My Rating: Cable Killing Them Softly Website
Indiefest: A Royal Affair (2012) This costume drama from Denmark is the story of a young woman (Alicia Vikander) who marries a king (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) who is insane. In a circumstance of being in the right place at the right time, the king picks a young, brash doctor (Mads Mikkelsen) to not only join his court but also be his friend and counselor. The doctor then has an affair with the young queen that changes their relationship and changes the workings of the court, itself. This is a gorgeous film with great sets and costumes, but it’s the acting that makes this film work so well. Mikkelsen and Vikander have great chemistry on screen together; their passion is so well displayed. Folsgaard, as the mad king is amazing and makes this character one that you sometimes feel sorry for and, at other times, detest. My Rating: Full Price A Royal Affair
The 50 (A Movie From My Best/Worst Films of All Time)
#12 Best Film
Fargo (1996) The Coen brothers (Joel, Ethan) bring us this fantastical world of interesting characters who inhabit the cold north Minnesota country. Jerry (William H. Macy) works at his father-in-law's car dealership and has gotten himself into a financial crisis. He decides to hire two shady characters (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare ) to kidnap his wife so that he can get money for the ransom. But, things don’t go as planned, and now Jerry’s in a world of trouble since Sherriff Marge Guinderson (Frances McDormand) is on the case. The film perfectly captures the coldness of the Minnesota winter and the unique characters that inhabit that world. Frances McDormand is absolutely perfect as the determined sheriff, that, although pregnant, is going to solve the crime and catch her man. The Coen brothers have created a fascinating film that both delights and shocks, and sometimes at the same time. Fargo Info
Forgotten Film: The Candidate (1972) The Democratic party can’t find anyone willing to run against U.S. Senator Crocker Jarmon (Don Porter) who is considered unbeatable after he, the incumbent, has served many terms. So, the Democrats convince Bill McKay (Robert Redford), the son of a long-time/popular governor, to run, and since he is destined to lose, McKay can run the campaign any way he wants. Due to his charisma and his sincerity, he begins making inroads with the voting public, and now McCay must choose to continue to be the outspoken rebel who can’t win, or, will he compromise his convictions to get the votes to be elected. Redford is brilliant as the guy who, at first doesn’t seem to want to win, but starts seeing that he just might make a difference. This film still has relevance today and is an interesting look at the world of politics. My Rating: Full Price The Candidate Info
In Case You Missed it (A Film Just Released on DVD): The Dark Knight Rises (2012) I thoroughly enjoyed this film and feel it was a fitting end to the Batman Dark Knight trilogy. Gotham City is convinced that Batman is a criminal, but Bruce Wayne feels, in both body and spirit, that he is no longer up to wearing the cowl and the cape. A new menace, though, is hell-bent on destroying the city, so Batman suits up again. The reason to see this film is Anne Hathaway, who brings a picture-perfect performance to the role of Catwoman. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again The Dark Knight Rises
In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): A Haunted House (2013) Marlon Wayans brings his type of humor to a spoof of the Paranormal Activity films. It’s bad enough that most of the horror films lately have been laughable, but now a horror film that’s supposed to be funny? Ugh. A Haunted House Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Killing Them Softly: Air Conditioning Tech
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Les Miserables (2012) This film is getting a lot of buzz, especially for Anne Hathaway. Based on the hit Broadway musical, producers of this film do something that has never been attempted to this extreme before: all of the cast are singing live, on camera. No playback/looping was done. Les Miserables Website
Until Next Time!
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