Friday, November 1, 2013

About Time

My View:  About Time (2013)  R  When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21, he discovers that the men in his family can travel in time and gain the ability to change what has happened to them in the past.  He then meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) and is determined to do anything in his power to make her his girlfriend.  The surprising thing about this film is that while it has aspects of a romantic comedy, it's more about the love of family and the small choices you make in your day that can enrich your life.  Gleeson and McAdams have excellent chemistry, and you can see early on in the film why they are attracted to each other.  The more significant relationship in the film isn't between Gleeson and McAdams, but Gleeson and Bill Nighy, who plays Gleeson's dad.  When the dad reveals the time travel aspect of their life, he uses it to teach his son how to be a better husband and man.  This is a warm, touching film that fans of director / writer Richard Curtis (Love Actually) will enjoy and savor for years to come.  My Rating:  Full Price  About Time Website
My View:  All Is Lost  (2013)   PG-13  On a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, a man (Robert Redford) finds that during the night, his 39-foot yacht has collided with a shipping container floating in the sea.  The man makes a desperate attempt at repairing his boat before it takes on too much water. If he doesn’t make the repairs in time, he could be in left in the middle of the ocean with little or no hope of being rescued.  In a tour de force performance, Robert Redford is impressive in the role of a lifetime, a man who must overcome odds just to survive on the high seas.  Redford has rarely been better, and the film does a masterful job of creating tension out of the little things that he must overcome, like trying to figure out how to repair his two way radio.  The film keeps a satisfying pace and never gets boring, even though there is almost no dialogue. This is a film that truly inspires as it shows the travails of a man battling the elements and at times, himself, surmounting incredible odds by just having faith and trusting in his instincts.  My Rating:  Full Price   All Is Lost Website

Indiefest:  Let the Fire Burn (2013)  In 1985, the Philadelphia police lay siege to a building occupied by a radical group known as Move. By the end of the siege, the police have dropped, via helicopter, two pounds of explosives on the building which results in a fire that kills five adults, six children and wipes out sixty houses in the area.  This is a fascinating documentary that doesn't take sides - it shows you when people don't communicate, things can quickly unravel and create confrontations that have disastrous results.  Using Television footage from the siege and from the governmental hearings held later, the film gives insight into a horrible day in Philadelphia history.   My Rating: Full Price  Let the Fire Burn Website
Forgotten Film:  The Straight Story (1999)  G  This film tells the true story of Alvin (Richard Farnsworth) who lives on the family farm with his daughter, Rose (Sissy Spacek).  Alvin is in poor health and knows he doesn't have much time.  Not having a driver's license, he decides to get on his riding lawnmower and travel from Wisconsin to Iowa to see his ailing brother.  This could have been an incredibly sappy film, but under the skillful touch of director David Lynch and the brilliant acting of Richard Farnsworth, this becomes one of the best, most moving films of the 1990's.  Farnsworth is perfect in the role of the tough, grizzled old man who wants to make one last journey on his own terms.  My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again  The Straight Story Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD / Blu-Ray):  R.I.P.D.  (2013) PG-13   One of the worst films of this year.  Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are supernatural cops in a film that was so bad I looked at my watch thirty minutes into the film, thinking it had been going on for two hours.  My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again  R.I.P.D. Website  

Weird Credits:  From the credits of About Time:  Clapper Loader

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  Nebraska  (2013)  R  One of the best films that I saw at this year's Austin Film Festival.  Alexander Payne directs this moving film about a son (Will Forte) who is desperate to reconnect with his father (Bruce Dern).  They travel across four states on a quest to turn in what the father thinks is a winning million dollar sweepstakes ticket.  Nebraska Info
Until Next Time!

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