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."     


Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Maggie, these are wonderful choices!! I have to confess, I haven't been to a movie in ages but I do want to see GONE GIRL. Everyone tells me I should read the book first. Thanks for giving me a nudge, I've been like a recluse!

Anonymous said...

A great list of movies there. I'm wanting to check out a few of them myself. John WIck of course. And gotta see The Judge. RDJ is one of my favorite actors. And I'm actually wanting to see Gone Girl too even though I'm not a huge Affleck fan.

Anonymous said...

Great list Maggie! What restaurant have you had the best dishes? Remember to add it to your Besty List! http://www.thebesty.com/cozychicks

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I love your movie reviews, Maggie. These are all on my list to see. Too bad we're binging on British crime series on Netflix, but we'll get over that.



Elaine N. said...

I've probably seen a lot of movies since the last time you did a roundup of what you've seen. I didn't see FURY or JOHN WICK but have seen the others you listed. All good. Jake Gyllenhall does creepy really well. I'm not a big fan of Affleck as an actor (great director though) but he did a good job in GONE GIRL (haven't read the book yet either).

For kids of all ages - Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; The Boxtrolls; Big Hero 6 (I love Baymax!).

This past weekend I saw THE GOOD LIE and WHIPLASH. I don't think THE GOOD LIE played first run in Ottawa (unless it played at one of the artsy rep theatres) but it opened at the 2nd run theatre ($3 for early morning movies). WHIPLASH opened both first run and at the 2nd run theatre. Bring tissues if you go to THE GOOD LIE. It's about The Lost Boys of the Sudan and although it's the fictional story of some who came to the US, the actors who portrayed them - one is the son of a refugee and 2 were child soldiers/refugees.

Thursday I'm going to the 2nd local advance screening of "The Theory of Everything". I know it's already playing in some places but you know when a movie ad says the movie is opening in "select cities", well, Ottawa isn't usually selected. People who went to the first screening last week are raving about the movie.

On Dec. 6 I'm going to "Corner Gas: The Movie". Along with hundreds of other people my name will be in the credits for having contributed to its Kickstarter campaign. Doubt I'll see my name in the theatre. Will have to wait until I get the DVD so I can stop the credits to see it.

At the end of December, I'm looking forward to "Unbroken" and "Into the Woods".

I know it's not until next summer but I'm looking forward to The Minions movie.

Maggie Sefton said...

Mary----Forgive the delayed reply. Yes, you would enjoy GONE GIRL. Fascinating character.

Maggie Sefton said...

Angie---Forgive the delayed reply. See Gone Girl anyway. You'll enjoy watching Amazing Amy in action. :) But the Robert Duvall & RDJ THE JUDGE is truly excellent.

Maggie Sefton said...

Oh, Betsy. . .that would be like saying which one of your children you like best. I am fortunate to dine in many places around the country. And different restaurants excel in different things. Hard to beat the BBQ in Texas. And Back East in my old hometown area of Northern VA/DC, fresh seafood is all over the place and I indulge myself.

Maggie Sefton said...

We get lots of those BBC crime mystery series. Which ones are you watching?

Maggie Sefton said...

Elaine----Good for you! You're a moviegoer after my own heart. I would skip the weepy ones and the kids movies unless I get a chance to see them Back East with my 7 yr old granddaughter AnaSofia. :) Not sure I could stand watching all that deliberate cruelty in Unbroken. Never heard of Corner Gas. What's it about? Artsy? Coming of age? Will definitely see The Theory of Everything. I'm a big Hawking fan. :) Also, what's Whiplash about?

Maggie Sefton said...

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