Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Movie Time

by Maggie Sefton

I've seen lots of movies lately, and I figured I'd do an update now before we get lost in all the holiday themes and travel.  Yes, I will be traveling again this coming Friday, but I'll tell you folks about that next Tuesday.  Here are the best ones I've seen lately----

FURY-----This is an excellent World War II movie, very well done, and focuses on a U.S. Army tank crew as the Allied forces are moving into Germany.  Very authentic details and extremely well-acted.  Brad Pitt is wonderful as the sergeant heading the tank crew.  All the supporting actors are excellent as well.

THE JUDGE----This is a wonderful movie and if you only see one movie in the next few weeks, check this one out.  Robert Duvall is one of my favorite actors ever since I saw him as the "adopted son" in the first Godfather movie.  Over the years, Robert Duvall has acted some outstanding roles.  One of the lesser known but remarkable movie roles is a few years old called "The Apostle."  It's about a gifted but all-too-human evangelist preacher.  Wow, what a perfomance.  But. . .back to present business----Robert Duvall is beyond good in this role of a retired judge in the Midwest who's accused of murder.  Actor Robert Downey, Jr. plays his super-talented, mega successful, and totally hyper attorney son who defends his cantankerous father.  Frankly, I don't know of any other actors who could have played these roles as convincingly and as well.  Both actors create an energy together on the screen that is riveting when they're together in a scene.

NIGHTCRAWLER----Jake Gyllenhaal gives the best performance I've ever seen from him, and he's a talented actor.  This role is riveting.  The character is a VERY complex and complicated person.  And the story covers an aspect of television journalism and TV news that's never been discussed before:  accident and crime on-scene reporting and resulting film footage.  Fascinating.  Rene Russo and Bill Paxton do excellent jobs with their multi-layered roles.

JOHN WICK----This is a smart and sophisticated take on the "assassin" movie.  Kenau Reeves does an excellent and understated job portraying this super assassin who has gotten "out of the business."  But after the death of his wife, he's drawn back in.  Villains are the Russian Mafia bad guys, and there are lots of them.  If you like non-stop action with a wry sense of humor thrown in, you might enjoy this one.  Check it out.

GONE GIRL----Fascinating character studies with affable Ben Affleck as the hero-husband of wife Amy, who had her "childhood" recorded and sold to huge audiences as Amazing Amy adventures.  Amy turned into a very, very complex young woman.     I won't give away more.  Movie was based on the big bestseller of the same name.        

You'll notice there are no "Chick flic" movies listed.  I confess I'm not much of a fan.  Usually, they're either weepy (someone is dying onscreen), or dumb (kiss of death for a movie), or just plain boring.  To me, at least.  :)   Exception was BRIDESMAIDS, but then, that was not a Chick flic.  It was a "buddy movie."