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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Descendents Film Review - George Clooney Shailene Woodley

Matt (George Clooney) lives in Hawaii with his wife and two daughters. He is rich and is deciding a real estate deal that could earn him and the rest of his family millions of dollars. It all sounds like paradise but this guy is having a rough time. His wife lies in a coma dying after a boating accident. His daughters don’t respect him and his big real estate deal is causes him public vilification. Oh yeah, while Matt’s wife lies in a coma, his eldest daughter (Shailene Woodley) tells him that his wife was having an affair with another man.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Last Rites of Joe May - Dennis Farina Movie

Joe May (Dennis Farina) is an aging street hustler who has just left the hospital after a two month bout with pneumonia. He returns after his two month hiatus to discover his possessions are all gone, his friends are distant and his apartment has been rented out to a young woman and child after his landlord presumed him dead. He develops an unlikely and somewhat predictable bond with the young woman and child after discovering the mother is abused by her boyfriend, a local police officer.

Farina is wonderful in a rare lead part. This is not surprising as this man has been playing the role of street tough characters his whole life. Watch him in any of his mob movies or TV police series and you’ve seen him nail this performance before. The difference here is that Farina’s character, Joe, is broke down, broke and still struggling to be respected on the street. He is like an old professional football player trying to get in one more season, not just for the money (which he badly needs), but also for the pride of being a respected street thug.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Iron Lady Streep as Margaret Thatcher - Film Review

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) is now old with a failing mind. She hallucinates about her deceased husband and is rapidly losing her ability to take care of herself. In between hallucinations she reminisces about her life while the film flashes back on her lifelong career as a British Parliament member and reign as Prime Minister. 

Yes, “The Iron Lady” is a flashback film. I’m a bit indifferent to this style of storytelling. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In the case of The Iron Lady, it doesn’t help the film or even make sense. When the film is set in the present, Thatcher’s mind and body are slowly succumbing to old age. This is interesting stuff for the first five minutes or so when you learn all you need to know about her old age condition (weak body, hallucinations, forgetfulness, etc) but after that the rest of the present-time scenes are too long , look pretty much all the same, and add nothing to the story.

Honestly, I can’t figure out how Thatcher can reminisce with such detail while her mind is failing but I’ll suspend disbelieve for the sake of the movie.