Friday, April 28, 2017

The Circle

My View:  The Circle  (2017)  PG-13  A young tech worker (Emma Watson) gets a job at a powerful internet company and quickly makes her mark in the business.  She learns that her company is involved with getting and keeping information on everyone, information that could be used to hurt her friends, family and even threaten the future of humanity. This is a dull film that never creates the tension that it needs to make us care about what happens to Mae. Emma Watson has to play a character that while shows some smarts on how quickly she picks up her job but is so gullible that it becomes laughable, then we are supposed to believe that she can pull off what happens at the end of the film. Tom Hanks plays basically Steve Jobs but with, at least on appearances, nicer. Karen Gillan is wasted as Mae’s best friend that gets her the job, as she almost sleepwalks through her role. This is a film where main characters just disappear for stretches of the film, making it seem as if the film need one or two more rewrites. Co-writer/director James Ponsoldt is one of my favorite directors out there (my love of his The Spectacular Now is well known), but he really misses the mark in this movie.  My Rating: Cable   The Circle Website
Indiefest:  Truman  (2015)  Julian (Ricardo Darin) gets an unexpected visit from his old friend Tomas (Javier Camara). Julian’s life is a little complicated and Tomas, along with Julian’s dog, Truman, are there to help him sort it out. I loved this marvelous and moving film about friendship, accepting the mistakes you have made in your life and trying to live life to its fullest.  Ricardo Darin gives a masterful performance that is both bittersweet and, at times, humorous. Darin has great chemistry with Javier Camara, which is crucial because the two are almost always on the screen together. The storyline is touching and thought provoking, and the ending is perfect, making this a film that will stay with you for a long time.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again    Truman Website
Indiefest:  A Quiet Passion  (2017)  PG-13   The story of one of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon). The film follows her life from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.  I am not a big fan of poetry, and this film is full of Dickinson’s poems, which sometimes interfere with the story and make the film feel choppy. Cynthia Nixon does give a riveting performance as the troubled Dickinson, who battled both mental and physical problems. My biggest problem with the film is that it’s hard to root for Dickinson, as she was such a troubled soul whom, as she aged, became mean and unforgiving. If you are a fan of Emily Dickinson’s work, you will enjoy this film, but I felt every minute of its two hours in length.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee     A Quiet Passion Website
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD/Blu-ray):  La La Land  (2016)  PG-13  A musical about a determined jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) who falls in love with an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) in Los Angeles. This is a magical film that tips its hat to the old Hollywood classic musicals of the past. Gosling and Stone have a chemistry that makes their romance believable. The singing and dancing by Stone and Gosling is so effortless and beautiful that it’s a joy to watch. The opening number is one of the most amazing dance sequences that I have ever seen on the screen, and the final dance sequence of the film is just unbelievably gorgeous. I have seen this movie three times, and each time I had a smile on my face throughout. In fact, I felt as if I should have danced across the lobby after I saw the film. Needless to say: My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   La La Land Website  
Forgotten Film:  Rachel Getting Married  (2008)  R  Kym (Anne Hathaway) has been in and out of rehab for the past ten years.  This time rehab seems to be sticking, and her treatment facility gives her a day pass so that she can see her sister, Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt), get married.  Kym’s situation may just dominate the wedding as family members from all over descend on the family home. The late director Jonathan Demme was a master of letting us inside even the most minor character, giving his films a personal feel, and he uses this to perfection in this film that has a constant flood of characters moving in and out.  Hathaway and DeWitt are scintillating as the two sisters who have problems with each other, but it’s Debra Winger who makes the film for me.  Her performance as the overwhelmed mother is a perfect piece of acting. The film shows just how flawed and fragile a family can be, even in what is supposed to be a happy time.    My Rating:  Full Price    Rachel Getting Married Info   

Weird Credits:  From the credits of  The Circle:  Aerial Drone Visual Observer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  King Arthur: Legend of the Sword  (2017)  PG-13  I have always been fascinated by King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, so I want to see this retelling of the legend by director Guy Ritchie.  It helps that the two main leads are Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law. I am a little worried because they used a Led Zeppelin song in the trailer.   King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Website
Until Next Time!

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