The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug plays more like a cliffhanger to a popular television show than it does a motion picture, and with that being the case I can’t imagine wanting to watch it on its own sans its two bookends at any point in the foreseeable future.
Not perfect, mind you, not supercalifragalistic….well, you know the rest…but wonderful all the same, this look behind Disney’s curtain a thoroughly entertaining enterprise worth flying kites to the highest heights in order to see.
Trap for Cinderella kept me at arm’s length, Softley crafting a motion picture I can in most ways respect even though it was also one I seldom, if ever, fully enjoyed.
“I want them to be open to the experience, to let the film wash over them and that they can come out afterwards feeling something.”
– Lynn Shelton
Out of the Furnace is an understatedly powerful drama that’s almost impossible to resist and even more difficult to ignore. It is magnificently acted, especially by Bale, Affleck, Harrelson and Sam Shepard (playing the Baze boys’ uncle) and is filled with astonishing moments of barren beauty and visceral power that speaks to the story’s core elements, more often than not without any words at all.
This isn’t just the year’s best animated film, it’s one of 2013’s finest motion pictures period, and as someone who has already seen, and loved, it twice I cannot wait to head out to the theatre and see it again before happily adding it to my personal library when it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray a few months hence.
For all its over familiarity, as much as it gaily wades in the shallow end of the cinematic intellectual gene pool, Homefront is far more entertaining than it has any right to be, and I don’t have a problem with that whatsoever.
For all its imbalances, even with the absurd nature of the premise that compels events forward, their relationship is entirely real, the simple triumph of saying, “I love you,” a victory all of us can relate to, making Nebraska (2013) a father-son saga of perseverance and commitment worthy of celebration.
Philomena isn’t out to change the world or do something flashy, different and new; it doesn’t want to offer up a litany of unexpected surprises or shocking plot turns. What it is interested in doing, and what it does extremely well, is bring this simple story of redemption, discovery and, ultimately, triumph to life in a way that is emotionally affecting without feeling melodramatic or mawkish.