Friday, December 2, 2016

Manchester by the Sea

Indiefest:   Manchester by the Sea (2016) R   When his brother, Joe, dies, Lee (Casey Affleck) is forced to take care of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) in his hometown. The big problem with going back to your hometown is you have to see people you left to avoid. Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan brings us a tale of heartbreak, grief and the attempt to heal wounds from the past. It's an achingly beautiful film that follows Lee and Patrick as they try to deal with all the big and small stuff that has to be handled after a death in the family. Full of pain and guilt, Affleck's performance is a wonder to watch. It's a complex performance worthy of what should be an Academy Award nomination. Manchester by the Sea is a film that perfectly explores the sense of loss when a death occurs, but it even better explores the human reaction to bad things when they happen to good people. Why did it happen and will the people left behind forgive themselves for surviving is what this film answers.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   Manchester by the Sea Website
My View:   Man Down  (2015)  R   When Gabriel Drummer (Shia LaBeouf) returns from Afghanistan, he finds that life in America is just as bad as the battlefields he left. With the help of his best friend (Jai Courtney), he searches for his estranged wife and son. This is a film that has the right message at its core but delivers it rather clumsily. The film is hard to follow as it jumps around quite a bit in the timeline, and I found the movie to be slightly dull at times. Until the end of the film, most of the cast is not given much to do, except for LaBeouf who is on screen for the whole movie. Like the film overall, his performance is all over the place. The ending is predictable, and the big reveal at the end of the film wasn't surprising at all.    My Rating: Cable    Man Down Website
Indiefest:   The Eagle Huntress  (2016)  G  Documentary that follows a 13-year-old Mongolian girl named Aisholpan, as she trains to be the first female eagle hunter. The cinematography of this film is striking and remarkable as time after time we see scenes of ravishing beauty that at the same time are overwhelmingly isolated, as Aisholpan and her family seem to be the only people on that planet. The scenes of Aisholpan and her father traveling across snow-packed mountains and frozen streams are both beautiful and terrifying as you wonder if they will ever make it back alive to their home and family. The Eagle Huntress is a film filled with bravery, determination and the human spirit filled with confidence that nothing can stop someone who knows she will succeed. That Aisholpan succeeds is not the question, its how well this 13-year-old girl does might surprise you, and then again, once you get to know her, it just might meet your expectations for her.     My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   The Eagle Huntress Website
Forgotten Film:   The French Lieutenant's Woman  (1981)  R  This is a film of two stories; one takes place in 19th-century England when a biologist (Jeremy Irons) has an affair with a woman (Meryl Streep) who has a tainted past and the second story is about the two actors who are portraying those roles. This is a brilliant film made almost flawless by the acting of the two principals. Irons is perfect in the role, and Streep gives one of her greatest performances.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   The French Lieutenant's Woman Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Man Down: Pashto Language Coach

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Assassin's Creed (2016)   PG-13  Normally, I wouldn't pay too much attention to a movie based on a video game, but this cast includes two-time Oscar-nominated Michael Fassbender, Oscar winner Marion Cotillard and Oscar winner Jeremy Irons.   Assassin's Creed Website

Until Next Time!

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