Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Gatsby

My View:  The Great Gatsby  (2013)  PG-13  Nick (Tobey Maquire) is a New York stockbroker at the height of the Roaring Twenties. Along with his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), he gets pulled into the mesmerizing world of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose wealth and fame for staging elaborate parties are legendary. But, all that glitters is not gold and the more Nick finds out about Gatsby, the more puzzling the millionaire becomes.  Gatsby says a line that looks like the director, Baz Luhrmann, takes to heart: “You can’t repeat the past? Why, of course you can!”  When I was watching this film, it was like I was watching Luhrmann’s early film, Moulin Rouge! without all the singing.  This film feels like one long music video, which is fine for awhile, but after 143 minutes, it gets very tiring.  I wish that Luhrmann would have let this fine cast act instead of being a part of a very loud, very gimmicky film that can’t figure out its overall tone.  I enjoyed DiCaprio’s performance, though I did get tired of his use of the phrase, “Old Sport."  I thought Tobey Mcguire was agreeable as the writer/narrator of the story, but putting hip-hop music to a 1920’s setting just didn’t work.  It was as if Luhrmann wanted to make a film to accompany a modern soundtrack.  In fact, I think this film would have worked so much better if it had been set in the modern world as the storyline of wealth and deception is timeless. And, by the way, it’s not necessary to see this film in 3-D, even though it is very evident that many of the shots were done for that format.    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   The Great Gatsby Website
My View:  Peeples  (2013)  PG-13    Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) wants to marry Grace Peeples (Kerry Washington), but he knows that she is a “daddy’s girl” and must get permission from her father (David Allen Grier) to marry her. So, Wade decides to crash the Peeples family reunion to meet the parents, but Wade doesn’t get the warm reception he was expecting.  I liked Craig Robinson in the lead role, thought he should stay in the comedy world, his attempts to do some dramatic parts in this film didn't quite work.  Washington was very cute in her role and David Allen Grier was very funny as the stuck up father of the Peeples clan.  It's not a great film but it does have it's funny moments, mostly when Robinson is allowed to go off script.  My Rating:  Bargain Matinee   Peeples Website
Forgotten Film Europa Europa  (1990) This remarkable film is about a young German Jew who escapes Nazi Germany, only to end up in a Polish orphanage that is taken over by the invading German army.  He convinces the Nazis that he is German and becomes a translator for them.  He does so well that they reward him by accepting him into the Hitler Youth Movement.  What is amazing about this film is that it is based on a true story, even though, at times, you question if what the young man experiences could ever really happen.  Marco Hofschneider is amazing as Solly, the boy who thinks at, any moment, the truth will be revealed.  The film explores in a way that is both gripping and inspirational what people will do to survive.    My Rating:  Full Price    Europa Europa Info

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):  Safe Haven  (2013) PG-13 While I didn’t hate this Nicolas Sparks love story starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel, I did find it very predictable, even the “so-called” plot twists throughout the film.  The film isn’t up to The Notebook standards, but it’s not as bad as some of the other Sparks films (I am pointing my finger at you Miley Cyrus).    My Rating:  Bargain Matinee    Safe Haven Website

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I’ve Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea):  Erased  (2012)  R  This film about an ex-CIA agent (Aaron Eckhart) and his estranged daughter (Liana Liberato) are on the run, has been sitting on the shelf for more than a year (never a good sign).  Quickly now, quickly - where have we seen this plot before?   Erased Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of The Great Gatsby:  Soft Furnishings

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Before Midnight (2013)  Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke reprise their roles as the star-crossed lovers from the earlier films Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004).  If director Richard Linklater wants to keep making these films, then I will gladly keep seeing them.   Before Midnight Info

Until Next Time!

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