Thumbnails Jun 13
Great Gatsby (9/10):
a phantasmagorical telling of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story, highlighted
by fine acting, incredible sets, and brilliant colors so vivid and
bright that they resemble three strip Technicolor from the late 30s
through the mid-50s. Catherine Martin, director Baz Luhrmannís wife,
produces Oscarģ-quality production design and costume design with
incredible sets and dazzling clothes by Prada and Miu Miu. Adding to the
fun is the 3-D which is among the best Iíve seen so far. This shows life
as it never was and never could be, but it is captivating. For a movie
well over two hours in length Luhrmann keeps the pace moving
Trek Into Darkness (8/10):
Benedict Cumberpatch gives a sterling performance as an ambiguous
villain in this second of the new iteration of Kirk and Spockís
adventures in space, maybe the best Star Trek ever. Directed with
wonderful pace and amazing special effects by J. J. Abrams, Chris Pine
(Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) have grown into their roles and seem
much more assured than four years ago. Quinto is markedly improved,
giving a performance rivaling Leonard Nimoy.
only thing off-putting about this film about brutal serial killer
Richard Kuklinski (a.k.a. The Iceman), superlatively played by Michael
Shannon, is the graphic violence. But the story is so well told that
even if you have to avert your eyes a couple of times, itís an
entertaining film. Diverging somewhat from the facts, it is an oddly
sensitive portrayal of a cold-blooded monster. It downplays the fact
that while he never mistreated his daughters, he often beat his wife. On
the downside, I deplore the delicate treatment of this despicable beast.
Watching Vromanís take, one almost feels sympathy for him.
Midnight (7 /10):
the third in a series of films directed by writer Richard Linklater. The
first hour is burdened by a labored 20 minute two shot of Julie Delpy
and Ethan Hawke in a car and another half hour of agonizingly contrived
dialogue at a dinner party. Fortunately it comes to life in the last 40
minutes with dialogue between Delpy and Hawke that is acute, sharp, and
biting, reminiscent of Whoís Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966),
although more realistic and not alcohol-driven, much of it with Delpy
and Furious 6 (5/10):
apparently unending series actually produced a good movie with 2011ís
ďFast FiveĒ that introduced Dwayne Johnson as a character.
Unfortunately, except for his huge arms that might attract women,
Johnsonís not that much of an addition to this iteration which is
nothing but two hours of loud car chases, crashes, and races, and
interminable brutal fights that share no relation with reality. If
thatís what you want, this is a wild ride.
Hangover Part III (5/10):
profanity-laden mediocrity is not nearly as good as the first, but is
better than the dreadful second, both of which were boffo box office.
The lack of quality of the two sequels is explained by the fact that the
writers of the first, which was a delightful screwball comedy for the 21st
Century, were not retained on the next two. Advertised as the ďlast of
the trilogy,Ē one can only hope.
Terribly slow and lowlighted by dark cinematography this is yet another
film about the diagnosis of female hysteria in the 19th
Century loosely based on Dr. Jean Martin Charcot, a French neurologist,
with whom Sigmund Freud studied in Paris, and his patient, Augustine,
played by singer Soko. Neither the cachet nor a bungled B story of an
alleged sexual relationship between the two help first time director
Alice Winocour, and thatís unfortunate because itís a film that had the
possibility of being another Snake Pit (1948). In French.