[American Hustle] plays like some bizarre, retro 70s-style amalgam of Dog Day Afternoon, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Donnie Brasco and Ocean’s Eleven, Russell mashing up genres and styles with skillfully energetic enthusiasm. He and Singer use a real F.B.I. sting operation as basis to go hog wild, taking a gifted ensemble of actors and giving them complicated characters to inhabit where nothing is ever what it seems and anything can happen to the lot of them at any given time.
The Armstrong Lie is a nice film, at times even a fascinating one, it’s just not essential, and that’s as strong a truth as any to be found in any single one of this picture’s 124 investigative and observational minutes.
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.
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.