Thumbnails Mar 17
by Tony Medley
13 Minutes (8/10):
This is near the top of the list of films I wish everyone could see this
year. It’s tells the virtually unknown story of George Elser (Christian
Friedel) who came within 13 minutes of assassinating Hitler in 1939.
This movie truly captures the awfulness it must have been to live under
the Nazis in the 1930s. But it also tells how an ordinary man of no
particular background or training can perform heroically. In German.
Opens March 17.
When a film starts with the statement that the film is “inspired by true
events” I normally take what I then view with a grain of salt. However
the fictionalization of what actually happened is so well done
that it is not only appropriate, but
necessary to make this story cinematic and as compelling as it is. It’s
highlighted by an over-the-top performance by Oscar®-winner Matthew
McConaughey, equally good performances by Edgar Ramirez and Bryce Dallas
Howard (Ron’s daughter), and exceptional cinematography of the jungle.
Live by Night (7/10):
sucker for good period pieces and with some exceptions this is a good
one. The big exception is the weak acting performance by director Ben
Affleck who displays his starkly limited range in a role that demands a
lot more. Ben should stick to directing, where he excels.
The Founder (5/10):
Shakespeare’s “Richard III” was a Tudor hit job on the last King from
the House of York, this is a hit job on Ray Kroc, the man who made
McDonald’s into what it is. Most of the info in the film came from the
McDonald brothers’ grandson, Jason French, and the story is told from
their POV, so what’s in the film defaming Kroc should be taken with a
grain of salt. As bad, Michael Keaton’s performance is not up to his
generally high standard.
The Space Between Us
One expects plotholes and impossible occurrences in sci-fi films. But
the silliness of many of the scenes is what keeps this movie from being
as entertaining as it could have been.
A Cure for Wellness
Lowlighted by cartoonish-looking characters at the outset that almost
look as if they are animation, and a story that makes no logical sense
whatsoever, this horror film that lasts for 2-1/2 hours, is 2-1/2 hours
John Wick Chapter 2 (0/10):
One of the most deplorable, shamefully
violent films I’ve seen, this consists of little more than Keanu Reeves
graphically shooting as many people as possible in the head, basically
the same scene over and over and over.
In an August 23, 2013 New York Times Op
Ed piece, forensic psychiatrists Vasilis K. Pozios, Praveen R. Kambam,
and H. Eric Bender wrote,
“There is now consensus that exposure to
media violence is linked to actual violent behavior — a link found by
many scholars to be on par with the correlation of exposure to
secondhand smoke and the risk of lung cancer. In a meta-analysis of 217
studies published between 1957 and 1990, the psychologists George
Comstock and Haejung Paik found that the short-term effect of exposure
to media violence on actual physical violence against a person was
moderate to large in strength.”
It’s disgraceful that
Hollywood keeps foisting movies like this that glorify viciousness and
desensitize people to bestial brutality. But I guess I'm whistling Dixie
when I hope for integrity in Hollywood.
mysteries: “The Girl Before” by J D Delaney & “The Couple Next
Door” by Shari Lapena