October 25, 2013, - 3:50 pm
Only one good choice among the new movies at theaters, this weekend. Actually it’s a great choice. (I did not see Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Why? Obvious reasons.)
* “All Is Lost“: Absolutely terrific. One of the best movies I’ve seen this year. This is the smart man’s “Gravity” (read my review). It’s got a similar story, although in a different atmosphere, but the person struggling to survive is much smarter here.
And there’s much less dialogue. Whereas Sandra Bullock talks non-stop and does everything wrong in “Gravity,” Robert Redford’s character (who is a nameless solitary man) says almost nothing and does everything right. Yet, both are trying to stay alive in challenging atmospheres that threaten to end their lives. The most dialogue is about two or three lines uttered by Redford at the beginning of the movie, reading aloud some sort of good-bye note to family.
I thought I would find this movie boring and slow because of the lack of dialogue, but, in fact, the movie was riveting and I was on the edge of my seat the entire way through. The movie is spectacular, both in story/plot and visuals. Its attention to detail is terrific
Redford plays a man who is alone on his sailboat in the middle of the Indian Ocean. He wakes up, one morning to the hull of the ship filling up with water. A stray cargo container that has fallen off some ship (and contains “Made in China” athletic shoes) crashes into the sailboat and creates a giant, gaping hole. (I wondered if the cargo container was meant to be symbolic of “Made in China” products crashing our economy and creating a giant, gaping hole in America’s future.)
The rest of the movie shows Redford’s travails and triumphs as he attempts to repair the hole and survive, with all of the odds against him. I’m making it sound far less interesting than it is. It’s actually a great adventure and really a great movie about the human will to survive (“Never Give Up” is the movie’s tag line). Despite all the disasters and horrible conditions, Redford remains ever calm and calculating, using his brain and know-how to stay alive.
While young kids won’t get this, you can take your teens to see this movie (but don’t complain to me that I didn’t warn you about the one F-word in it). Don’t let Redford’s lefty politics keep you from seeing this fantastic movie. And I recommend you see this in the theater, as it won’t have the same effect at home on video.
I highly recommend “All Is Lost.”
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Counselor“: More disgusting, violent garbage put out by Rupert Murdoch.
Extremely pretentious, absolutely disgusting, and very violent. This is yet another one of those time bandits. It robbed me of two hours of my life I’ll never get back. The movie is very high style–expensive, gaudy, flashy clothes, cars, and jewelry (and even a pair of pet leopards–or tigers, I forget which and don’t really care). The movie is long, slow, and boring.
It’s also very bloody. There are a beheading, point blank gunshot murders, bodies in tanks, and–at least this part one could enjoy watching–Brad Pitt gets murdered with some mechanical wire device strapped around his neck that keeps squeezing.
Cormac McCarthy, at age 80, should probably get out of the business. This is his first screenplay that made it to the big screen and doesn’t come from one of his novels. It should be his last. The conversations in the movie are pretentious and absurd. Nobody talks like that. And the movie tries too hard to be both philosophical and a Quentin Tarantino movie. It stinks at both.
A lawyer (Michael Fassbender), whose name we are never told (he’s merely called, “Counselor”) needs money. So he decides to go in on a drug deal with clients and friends of his (including Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt). The drugs are smuggled from Mexico through a southern border town in tanks in tanks carried by truck. But there is a complication, the drug deal goes bad, and the lawyer gets blamed for it. The lawyer knows he will have to flee, lose everything that’s important to him, and be in fear for his life forever. The same goes for his friends and clients.
Oh, and did I mention the dumb feminist angle in all of this? The person pulling all the strings and getting all the money–while screwing all the men over and getting them killed–is Cameron Diaz (who is a terrible actress, not believable in this movie, and who hit the wall about 13 years ago). Yay, grrrrl power! Diaz, who wears all kinds of fancy, flashy post-modern style clothes and jewelry (and very ugly silver-white nail polish) is just awful in this movie. I almost think this movie was made so that she could show us her breasts (which are laid out in one scene plus about two millimeters of her nipple). And so that she could masturbate on the front window shield of a fancy sports car in an incredibly sleazy and unintentionally very comical scene. This is after she tells her boyfriend (Bardem), “I’m going to f— your car.” Classy. That’s all anyone will be talking about with regard to this incredible joke of a movie.
A complete waste of time and extremely obnoxious. I hated this.
FOUR MARXES PLUS THREE BETTY FRIEDANS
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Enough Said“: I had mixed feelings about this movie. On the one hand, it’s mostly light and very funny. But then it gets slightly melodramatic and sad for my taste. Also, I could have done without the main character, Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who plays a mother of a teen daughter, advising her daughter’s teen friend that she should have sex with some random guy. Um, nice parenting. I did like that the movie made fun of left-wing female poets and how intolerant and base they actually are. And I liked the movie’s slight commentary on the deviant, all-too-casual sexual behavior of teens today.
Eva is a masseuse and divorced single mother. She is about to lose her teen daughter to college and her daughter’s classmate and friend is a little too close to Eva. Eva and some friends go to a party hosted by someone in the publishing industry. While there, she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), a poet, who hires Eva to massage her. Eva also meets Albert (James Gandolfini in his last role), who asks Eva out on a date.
Soon, Eva becomes good friends with Marianne, who constantly, snobbishly attacks her ex-husband. Eva also becomes romantically involved with Albert, who talks about how his ex-wife treated him terribly. Eventually, Eva puts two and two together and realizes that Marianne and Albert are divorced from each other. But Eva doesn’t want to tell either of them that she knows the other because she thinks it’s too awkward and too late. But Eva and Albert’s relationship is poisoned by Marianne’s attacks on her ex.
The movie presents several ethical dilemmas, and it’s definitely entertaining. But, as I noted above, I could have done without the slight, brief, melodrama, as well as the horribly irresponsible parental “advice” from Eva to her daughter’s friend. This would have been a TWO REAGAN movie but because of that, I give it . . .
Watch the trailer . . .
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