Theatrical Releases: Red Dawn, Life Of Pi, & Rise of the Guardians

LIFE OF PI || November 23rd, 2012

HITCHCOCK || Alfred Hitchcock is one of my all-time favorite directors, not just for his amazing films, but as a person, oddities and all, he was unafraid of the masses and was willing to put himself out there and for that he is a historical icon. The film “Hitchcock” is wonderfully cast, with an unrecognizable Anthony Hopkins, as Hitchcock. The film takes place before the decision to produce the film “Psycho”, arguably one of Hitchcock’s greatest endeavors. There’s nothing that looks bad about this film and I will probably be venturing out this weekend to see it. THEATER
LIFE OF PI || With some of the best use of visual effects ever witnessed in a film and one of the first films I’ve ever said “perhaps I should see the 3D version”, “Life Of Pi” is a visual masterpiece. Telling the inspirational story of a young Indian man stranded in the Pacific ocean with a Bengal tiger, there’s enough tension between the two character to carry the film through its over two hour run-time. Despite some questionable transition choices and a lagging interview used as a bookmark, Ang Lee proves his vision can break the stigma that the book “Life of Pi” is “unfilmable”.
RED DAWN || Despite its growing unpopularity from critics, the “Red Dawn” remake is actually an entertaining, stand alone action film, which picks its moments with precision and executes them with style. With above average performances from Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, and Adrianne Palicki, there is an edge to this film that the original lacked. Reflecting many of the same beats as the 1984 version, this updated thriller still surprises, delivering multiple nail-biting sequences and twists that were mulled over in the original. In my book, “Red Dawn” is a success, not replacing the Swayze-Sheen embodiment, but contributing to it justly.
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS || When did Santa Claus become Russian? As much as this film does not entirely interest me, it has gotten such great reviews and is being talked about as one of the frontrunners for Best Animated Feature of the year, that it will probably be a rental for me, as I do not see myself running out to see this one. RENT
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK || Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence give two of the best performances of the year and of their careers. The brilliance of the characters and their say-anything-do-anything mentalities not only provides for entertaining and comedic banter, but allows for both actors to drive home their exquisite and completely natural chemistry. Although the pacing is sometimes jumbled and the arguments reach points of complete inaudible insanity, these elements often end up enriching the plot, as the line between normal and mental illness grows more unclear the longer the characters interact. With heartfelt performances from key supporting players like Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook” not only succeeds comically, but also passionately, transcending the everyday romantic comedy and becoming so much more sincere and meaningful.

THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE || In lieu of films like the “Paradise Lost trilogy” bringing to light the injustice of our legal system, “The Central Park Five” follows in the same tradition, while carrying the tone of racism mixed with being wrongfully accused. Granted our legal system is never pretty, it takes strong documentaries like this to bring it to people’s attentions and this film as strong Best Documentary of the year backing from several critic outlooks. STREAM
RUST AND BONE || It’s as if someone asked me, without my knowing, who my two all-time favorite foreign actors were and then put them into a film together, which looks powerful and emotional. Marion Cotillard is showing up everywhere these days. I first fell in love with her in “Public Enemies” and “Nine”, but soon found her foreign work to be just as amazing, as she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in “La Vie en Rose”. And Matthias Schoenaerts caught my attention in my favorite foreign film of last year, “Bullhead”, which was brilliant. Together, they could make nothing short of perfection and I will definitely be seeing this film and crossing my fingers that come awards season, they are not forgotten. THEATER

THEATER

  • Hitchcock
  • Life Of Pi
  • Red Dawn
  • Rust And Bone
  • Silver Linings Playbook

RENT

  • Rise of the Guardians

STREAM

  • The Central Park Five

PASS

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