I’m on vacation this week in lovely Key West, Florida so I’m not able to write up any full-on reviews this week. But, I wanted to write-up a bit about these movies opening this weekend. Some are fantastic and some… aren’t.
No doubt you seen and heard plenty of hype about this film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Directed by Steven Spielberg. Well, the hype is worth it.
The film is set right after his re-election and centers on his efforts to ban slavery. The film could easily be turned into a stage play, thanks to screenwriter Tony Kuschner but that isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s dialogue heavy, some scenes are quite long and the amount of monologues could keep an acting student busy for weeks.
Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal. Flat out, hands down phenomenal. I feel sorry for anyone else who is up against him in this years Oscar race. He brings Lincoln to life to where hes a living breathing man and not the stoic statesmen I always thought him to be. His Lincoln is funny and warm and at times angry, sly and cunning. He has, like I said above, some long monologues but I could have watched him deliver them for hours.
The cast, including Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field are Joesph Gordon-Levitt, are in top form and it’s filled and with some of the best character actors working today – Michael Schulberg, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes, Jared Harris… I could keep going but the amount of talent Spielberg has assembled is pretty spectacular.
Definitely a must-see.
The Silver Linings Playbook
Directed by David O Russell, this is a film you should definitely go in not knowing where it will take you. I saw it at the San Diego Film Festival back in September and loved it. It’s about a guy (Bradley Cooper) who, after a stint in a mental institution, moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver) and tries to get his ex-wife back. But, when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), his life moves in a different direction.
The film, also starring Chris Tucker, is charming, funny and will make you fall in love with Lawrence if you aren’t already. Cooper is pretty great in it as well.
The only thing I can say against it, is that, even though I enjoyed it, the film hasn’t stuck with me. That being said, if you see it, you’ll definitely have a good time for the 115 or so minutes.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Haven’t seen it. Go at your own risk. But I will say that in my interview with stars Maggie Grace and Mia Maestro, they told me it is absolutely the best of the series.
This Must Be The Place
You’ve probably never heard of this it’s probably best it stay that way, which is unfortunate because Sean Penn gives a wonderful performance as a soft spoken, former 80’s rock star.
Cheyenne, was huge back in the day, until 2 teenagers killed themselves because of his music. Since then, he’s been in a self-imposed exile in Ireland with his wife, Jane (Frances McDormand). One day, he decides he wants to go to New York City to find the guy who, years ago, humilated his recently deceased father.
Penn’s Cheyenne is shy and talks in an almost mumbling, voice. Think of him as a cross between The Cure’s Robert Smith and Edward Scissorhands. As I said, Penn is truly great in the part but the film itself is a big, “Huh?”
The movie just drops into the story. You have no idea what is happening, why he is who he is, who the people he is interacting with is. You have to figure that out on your own. Which is fine, but we get little to no exposition. Why is McDormand’s Jane married to him? Her character is a firefighter who is a bit rough around the edges. What’s the attraction? Why is it set against the 2008 Presidential campaign? There are just so many unanswered questions and the story is so meandering that you ultimately don’t care what happens in his quest.