Friday, December 11, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

My ViewIn the Heart of the Sea  (2015) PG-13  In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex is assaulted by a whale of mammoth size that destroys the ship. The remaining crew will be pushed to their limits in their attempt to survive the aftermath. I loved the cinematography of this film. The whale attacking action sequences are stunning and exciting. If the film had just been about the quest for the whale, it would have been an excellent film, but this film loses steam during the last third as crew are trying to survive out in the middle of nowhere. I liked Chris Hemsworth as the headstrong first mate, showing a bit of range when he is asked to perform in some rather touching scenes near the end of the film. The film is let down by Benjamin Walker, who plays the captain of the ship, as he has no charisma on screen and absolutely no chemistry with Hemsworth.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   In the Heart of the Sea Website
My ViewMacbeth  (2015)  R   Macbeth (Michael Fassbender), the Thane of Scotland receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that he will one day become King of Scotland. Consumed by his ambition and spurred on by his wife (Marion Cotillard), he murders the king and takes the throne for himself. This is an interesting take on the Macbeth tale, and the script deletes scenes from the play (for the better) and changes a few minor plot points to further the storyline. Fassbender gives the role his all, but he is slightly upstaged by a brilliant performance given by Cotillard, who makes this film worth watching. The film has some battle sequences that feel a little out of place by using slow motion action like it’s part of “300.” Most of the film takes place outside, and it uses the Scottish countryside to full advantage, which makes the film look spectacular.   My Rating: Full Price  Macbeth Facebook Page
IndiefestHitchcock / Truffaut  (2015)  PG-13   In 1966, director Francois Truffaut came out with the ultimate book on filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock called, “Cinema According to Hitchcock.” This documentary looks at how that book influenced today’s filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Peter Bogdanovich.  I am a huge Hitchcock fan, and it was a thrill to watch this film as it uses much of the original audio recordings from the interview to make its various points. It is fascinating to hear how many of today’s directors are influenced by Hitchcock’s work and how much they admire what he did. The film stresses that before Truffaut’s interviews were published, Hitchcock was seen as just a box office director. After the book was published, the film shows that Hitchcock was celebrated for his genius for making movies his way, brilliantly and entertaining.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Hitchcock / Truffaut Info
Forgotten FilmThe Brave One  (1956)  Leonardo (Michel Ray) befriends a bull named Gitano from certain death during a storm. The bull and the boy become friends, but that friendship is threatened when the bull’s owners want to send the bull to fight a matador in Mexico City. Can Leonardo save his bull from certain death again?  This is a beautiful and simple tale that is moving and sure to bring a tear or two. Dalton Trumbo wrote the script but had to do it under a pen name, as he had been blacklisted by Hollywood as a Communist during the last 40’s.   My Rating: Full Price   The Brave One Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD / Blu-ray):   Minions  (2015)  PG  The Minions have been looking for a leader for ages to no avail. Kevin is a minion with a plan, and he, along with Stuart and Bob, are on a quest to find their next potential master. Scarlet Overkill(Sandra Bullock) just might be that leader. The Minions were always my favorite part of the Despicable Me series. Unfortunately, the Minions should only be a supporting cast, never the leads like they are in this very boring film. The film is set in 1968, and there are cultural references to things that kids are not going to know anything about (like The Beatles Abby Road).  The film does have five or six funny scenes, but it takes so long to get there that the laughs aren’t as big as they should have been. There is also a lot of Minion singing, which gets very old very quickly.   My Rating: Cable Minions Website  

Weird Credits: From the credits of In the Heart of the Sea:  Special Effects Teeth

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Legend of Tarzan  (2016)  It’s very hard to tell the tale of Tarzan, but I like the cast of Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd as Tarzan, Margot Robbie as Jane and a supporting cast of Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, John Hurt and Djimon Hounsou. This is not an "origin" story as it takes place after Jane and Tarzan have become a couple and have moved from the jungle to London.   The Legend of Tarzan Info   
Until Next Time!

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