Tag Archives: Ed Harris

Gravity is out of this world

7 Oct

GRAVITY-FILM

The most anticipated film for me this year was Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity.” With his first film since the 2006 sci-fi drama “Children of Men,” Cuaron has broken new ground here, creating an experience unlike anything audiences have seen before. When a routine repair job on the Hubble telescope goes awry, a medical engineer, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), and a mission commander, Lt. Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), must work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

Believe the hype, this is one of the most visually stunning films ever, with its groundbreaking CGI that features jaw-dropping single-shot sequences. Clocking in at 90 minutes, Cuaron wastes no time in moving the story along. Bullock ventures outside of her normal orbit of roles and gives an amazing performance while Clooney is great in his supporting role. This is masterful technical achievement with Cuaron, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and Visual-Effects Tim Webber creating a movie going experience worthy of Oscar consideration.

WORD COUNT: 159

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

The Truman Show is the master template for popular entertainment today

1 Aug

THE-TRUMAN-SHOW

The Truman Show is easily one of the most original ideas to emerge from Hollywood in the late 1990s. At the time, reality TV and manufactured amateur celebrities were in its infancy stages. Fifteen years later, the film’s subject material remains relevant because of the public’s obsession with watching this form of entertainment. Society has not degenerated to the level of The Truman Show’s unethical decision to buy the rights of a newborn child to unknowingly serve as the central character in a fake world of scripted characters and controlled events 24 hours a day. It is the perfect combination of soap opera melodrama, reality, and movie magic that will become the master template for popular entertainment today.

Writer Andrew Niccol’s brilliant multi-layered script is funny, dramatic, dark, and intelligent. Ed Harris (Christof) portrayal of a producer/director’s “ends justifies the means” position is powerful while Jim Carrey finally finds a role that allows him to demonstrate his range as an artist.

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A

History of Violence doesn’t look back

7 Nov

David Cronenberg has crafted a superb drama about a small town restaurant owner and family man Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) that has his past catch up to him when two unexpected visitors pull their guns on his restaurant patrons.  Instinctively, Tom kills them and becomes a local hero, but his celebrity brings more bad than good when Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris) and his henchmen believe Tom is former gangster named Joey Cusack.

Josh Olson’s adapted screenplay is clear, but complex story filled with twists and unexpected moments that leave a lasting impression. Cronenberg continues to expand his range and deliver an impeccable gangster film with some brilliant performances. Mortensen’s presence on the screen is mesmerizing while William Hurt turns in a stellar performance as a disgruntled gangster looking for payback. Cronenberg’s films have a deliberate pace like a metronome that moves methodically beat after beat, until those special moments magnify the film’s brilliance.

WORD COUNT: 153

Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: B

Gone Baby Gone delivers mystery

9 Oct

When I heard that Ben Affleck co-wrote and directed Gone Baby Gone, an adaptation of Denni’ Lehane’s novel, I have to be honest, I was expecting mediocrity. I was relieved and surprised to find a superbly well-written and directed drama about Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck), a frail looking private investigator with a tenacious interior. He and his partner Angela Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) search for a recently abducted 4-year-old girl.

The movie is tense and presents itself as a puzzle. But it is also able to carry a dramatic weight on its shoulders and deliver a powerful message with “what is right, and what is wrong?” Affleck is able to keep this film engaging like he had been directing for years. Gone Baby Gone does have some minor flaws but as a whole, it is able to be more than just your typical detective movie. It is an intriguing mystery.

Word Count: 149

Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A-