You’re with her, and she’s wonderful, but you don’t know how to tell her. The time isn’t right, or you let the moment pass. You wish she just knew, and you hope someday she will. Then, without warning, she’s gone. She’s gone and you’ve failed her and she’s not coming back.
Until she does. Somehow, after the divide between you seemed permanent and uncrossable, she is with you again. She is still wonderful, and she doesn’t hold your weakness against you. Suddenly you have another chance to tell her, and to show her, to make her feel your love.
The Giver is dumb.
I don’t mean in the way that many movies based on YA books are dumb. I don’t even mean in the way that movies full of shopworn dystopian tropes can be dumb. (Dystropia? Did I just invent that?)
I mean it’s the kind of dumb that holds its audience in contempt – the kind of dumb that believes it has something smart to say. I assure you, it does not. I won’t comment on the source material because I haven’t read it, but it almost has to be less pedantic and empty-headed.
In the future, something terrible …
There is a scene in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ that concerns the effects of Quaaludes on the nervous system that singlehandedly redeemed Leo DiCaprio for me. I don’t think of Leo as a funny guy, much less a physical comedian. I was wrong.
At this point in American history, nobody needs to be advised to see a Scorcese film. He’s a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, maybe the best director in the history of the medium. His misses are better than most people’s hits. He misses infrequently.
‘Wolf’ is vintage funny Scorcese, a frothy confection with rot at the center. DiCaprio plays …
You can do a lot worse than imitating Martin Scorcese, you really can.
‘American Hustle’ is a surprisingly amusing and suspenseful look into ABSCAM, a scandal I remember next to nothing about. It’s also a fairly strong philosophical treatise on the dark side of constructing your society around the war of all against all. All the main characters are bound together by the obscene lengths they’ll go to get over, and not even the good guys have any moral compass to speak of.
Maybe most importantly, it’s the most profound cinematic tribute to sideboob ever devised.
The sexy grifter played …
The Apatow camp has a formula that works.
First, cast a bunch of accomplished improv comics. Dress than up and point cameras at them. Make them do a million takes. Edit those takes down to 90 minutes, discovering the structure of your movie as you go.
Some of the jokes will fall flat. Lots, actually. So you make sure that there are so many gags per minute that people don’t have time to dwell on the misses.
If you’ve cast well, lots of the choices will work, and a few will go right over the Green Monster and through a windshield. …
I don’t care what Peter Jackson says – turning ‘The Hobbit’ into a trilogy is a cynical moneygrab, and it makes the end product worse.
When you take a rollicking kid’s adventure tale and turn it into a ponderous, self-serious 9 hour film series you have to pump in a lot of fluff to keep the pillows looking plump. For example, maybe you have to add a dumb love story between Legolas and Kate from ‘Lost’. Maybe you have to make the initial meeting with Smaug drag out for what feels like hours in real time.
The formula worked better in the …
‘Out of the Furnace’ is like ‘Winter’s Bone’, except with less pathos and more testosterone. Also, everyone is kind of an asshole, so it can be hard to care what happens next.
Casey Affleck (the superior Affleck these days, at least in front of the camera) is a moody, traumatized vet back from Afghanistan. He is having difficulty transitioning back into the flow of civilian life. We know this because he has a couple of hamfisted speeches that tell us so. He deals with his stress by gambling and fight-clubbing to try and pay his mounting debts.
Christian Bale plays the protective …
‘Homefront’ is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a Jason Statham movie. This means Jason plays a badass who is pretty over his life of awesome-fu and wants to concentrate on his first love, painstaking scruff maintenance. But someone won’t let him chill, even though he asks nice. Twice.
So Jason beats the stuffing out of hordes of undifferentiated miscreants, mumbles intensely and returns the world to rights. Also, a great number of things blow the f@ck up.
It’s not gonna end up in the Criterion Collection, but you get what you came for. Bonus points for Winona Ryder …
- Release Date: 11/2013
‘Inequality for All’ is the ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ of economics. It’s a boardroom slide presentation that sharply delineates a crisis. The seriousness is leavened with autobiography and geeky humor. The call to action at the end is guaranteed not to solve anything.
I don’t mean that as a complete dismissal of the film. The slides are great, and you’re definitely going to see some of them bubble up into the coming election cycle. If you are looking for arguments against continuing to toss virgins into the volcano in the hopes that the rich will send the rain, there are some bullet …