Fall Movie Bonanza: All is Lost

Technically fall doesn’t start until December 21, so it’s still fall, and I can write a fourth edition of the Fall Movie Bonanza series of blog posts, right? Right.

all-is-lost-robert-redford-02-600-370Writer/director J.C. Chandor’s All is Lost stars the weathered and rugged, crinkled but well muscled 77-year-old Robert Redford as “Our Man,” a seasoned sailor who becomes lost at sea after a stray shipping container punctures his craft, and a storm has its way with the man and his ship. Having read Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea recently (as mentioned in a previous post), it was an interesting coincidence to be able to compare and contrast two fictional nautical tragedies. Continue reading

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Fall Movie Bonanza: 12 Years A Slave, Carrie & The Counselor

During my birthday trip to Illinois a couple weeks ago, I got a chance to watch two of the movies on my to-see list for a total of $11. It’s insane how much less it costs to see a movie in the Midwest. In New York, I’m accustomed now to paying $14.50 at AMC theaters, which was the case when I saw Captain Phillips (reviewed on this very blog). Gravity (review posted here) cost me $21.50 to see in IMAX 3D (and it was worth every penny).

But back to the movies themselves. I enjoyed both of them, though neither of them stacked up to 12 Years A Slave, which I saw after returning to New York (it was not playing anywhere in St. Louis at the time). Below are my thoughts on all three.

Carrie
The Brian De Palma movie from the 70s a tough one to beat in a remake, and I liked this new version even though the remake didn’t surpass the original (or the Stephen King book).

Chloe MoretzChloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Hugo) was engaging as the title character, an awkward high school girl with supernatural powers she learns to wield over the course of the movie. Even better was Julianne Moore as her mother, pretty much perfect for the role of Carrie’s abusive religious zealot of a mother. She brings a level of intensity and a torturedness (for lack of a better word) to her performance that stokes up the conflict between mother and daughter that much more.

I wasn’t as impressed with the supporting cast. Continue reading

Fall Movie Bonanza: Gravity is a Tour de Force

Goodbye and good riddance, summer. That’s what I say. People talk about how short it was and how they didn’t get to go to the beach as many times as they wanted, or get enough tan lines, or wear enough Crocs and flip flops, or rock out at concert festivals in their plastic sunglasses, or whatever it is that summer-lovers do. I say summer was too long, and not just because I’m tired of sweating every time I go outside. I’m excited for the fall movie season, when the big studios finally push out their top quality product for Oscar consideration.

maxresdefaultThe first big October movie you need to see is Gravity, and you need to see it in IMAX 3D. It won’t be cheap (a whopping $21.50 per ticket at an AMC theater in NYC), but it will be worth it.

Some people have actually told me they saw a trailer for it and thought it looked boring. How? What about astronauts getting exploded off of their space stations is boring? I guess it’s just a matter of taste, but I found all the trailers, teasers, and behind the scenes footage I watched in advance of the movie to be exciting. And I don’t even like Sandra Bullock.

Having seen the movie, I can assure you it’s anything but boring or slow-paced. Continue reading