Theatrical Releases: The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty & The Wolf Of Wall Street
Before seeing the trailer for “47 Ronin” I was much more excited to see it. Keanu Reeves taking up the leading role in a film about samurai? Sign me up! But with the trailer came the fantasy element of giant trolls and women turning into dragons and ghost demons that look like Voldemort and you’ve almost completely lost me. I will still likely see it just to see it but I am no longer anticipating it. What we need is a really great straightforward samurai film and nothing more.
With an all-star cast about a crazy family and with serious Oscar attention, “August: Osage County” brings greats like Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Benedict Cumberbatch, just to name a few, together for a hilarious romp into a particular lifestyle. Most critics pinpoint Meryl Streep as an obvious contender for Best Actress during the Academy Awards, so that alone should sell it. Toss in Abigail Breslin, who is growing up nicely, and greats like Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale, and I’m completely sold.
Having seen “Rocky” and knowing of “Raging Bull”, I get what “Grudge Match” is doing, even with the allusions to those films in the trailer, like Stallone almost punching the hanging cow carcass in the slaughterhouse. With that, I also see them pushing Kevin Hart on me, which could be much worse, but still doesn’t mix completely with these old actors, even Alan Arkin, who they demonstrate a connection with the trailer. Because I respect all these old actors, I will see it, but there’s not a lot of excitement there.
Felicity Jones is one of my top five favorite actresses right now and putting her in this period piece, “The Invisible Woman” as the object of Charles Dickens’ secret affections makes this a historical home run, at least in my eyes. Jones pulls off every role she’s in and with Ralph Fiennes directing and playing Dickens, I am completely on board, hoping this lives up to my great expectations.
Chris Pine has earned my respect over the years, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” which looks to take itself a little too seriously as a Tom Clancy spy thriller, keeping the Jack Ryan name alive. With fellow stars Keira Knightley, who does not appear to fit in this film whatsoever, and Kevin Costner, who has made a bit of a resurgence this year, definitely do nothing to help this film look better, but regardless, it deserves at least a viewing, especially if it launches another franchise.
Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin teaming up with director Jason Reitman in a very serious drama about finding love after loss, “Labor Day” looks unlike anything Reitman has done before. I often write off films starring Winslet and am often pleasantly surprised when they turn out to be amazing, so I will definitely be giving this film a chance. Not sure if this film will be nominated for any Oscars, even if it isn’t, I will probably catch it in theaters at some point.
For a strange British comedy based on a true story, even the trailer for “One Chance” contains some very humorous moments. Starring an all but unknown James Corden as a man that has always dreamed of singing opera and then finds himself on the British version of a talent search with judge Simon Cowell, the film would normally not be my cup of tea, but has some great moments in the trailer that just might play out well enough in the film to get me to watch it.
“The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” is a balance of memorable moments and sincere performances from most of the main cast, especially Ben Stiller and Sean Penn. Stepping into the director’s shoes, Stiller takes on double duty and does not disappoint, playing title character Walter Mitty, an easygoing daydreamer living a reserved lifestyle. What follows is an epic adventure filled with beautiful, unforgettable scenery and the perfect moral of stepping outside your comfort zone and experiencing life.
Leonardo DiCaprio gives one of his best performances of his career in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, a brutally honest look at the life of real life New York stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, who scammed rich people out of their money to live his lavish, no holds barred lifestyle. Almost pornographic in nature, the film brings out the animalistic sides of its characters, who throw midgets like lawn darts and who spend insurmountable quantities of cash on the strangest of things.
Truth be told, I read Justin Bieber’s name and completely passed on this film, without even seeing the trailer. Not that I refuse to watch it, I just know that I could care less about Bieber and so a documentary titled “Believe” will almost 99.9% not be up my alley. Hopefully it shows how irresponsible he is and how much of a dick he can be, because until a documentary comes out that shows the real side of this spoiled rich celebrity, I could give two shits less.