Tag Archives: Drama

Argo (2012)

Argo is the third film by Ben Affleck, the actor now deep into a parallel career as a director and proving not only be a virtual natural at the job, but clearly that he takes it seriously compared to some other peers of his who have attempted the same thing in recent years. Affleck is heading towards George Clooney and Sean Penn territory; David Schwimmer and Helen Hunt are not for example. One of the reasons his potential seems to be being realised has a lot to do with his screenplay choices, and Argo is no exception; a true story based around the rescue of six US Diplomats from Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis by CIA operative, Tony Mendez. Not exactly “lite” material, but one with the mixed potential to be either an intelligent adult thriller or ham-fisted flag waving cliché. So where does Affleck take it? Under the guidance of producers Clooney and Grant Heslov, thankfully – and not surprisingly – it is the former. The plot; extending to the fact that Mendez’s plan for the attempted rescue is to impersonate a Hollywood producer looking to film a B-grade sci-fi turkey in Iran, also gives the director plenty of flexibility to add humour and satire into the mix and ultimately that element allows it to become the crowd pleaser Affleck clearly saw the potential of it being.

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Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

By this, his seventh feature length film, director Wes Anderson’s unique style and reputation precede itself. It would be fair to say that the majority of movie goers who take on his latest journey have some idea of what to expect, and indeed, want more of the same.  This doesn’t mean the man can’t surprise, grow and develop new ideas into his work however, as Anderson is as creative a filmmaker as one can be, and with Moonrise Kingdom, he has given us something that’s possibly even more unique than it was already going to be.

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Magic Mike (2012) – A guest review by Miss NJ!

If you’re going to see this movie, chances are you want to see attractive dudes naked and dancing. And if that’s your primary focus, then you’ll be basically satisfied. If you want a little story and depth behind gyrating naked bodies… Well, that’s a little more complicated.

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Blue Valentine (2010)

Note: This was my number one film of 2010, and this review was written at the end of that year.

Set in an unknown, unimportant time and place, Blue Valentine is the story of a couple, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams). As well as their young daughter, Frankie (Faith Wladyka). The story, in the direct sense is about their first meeting, their falling in love, marriage and eventual divorce. However, the film never plays it that straight. And it doesn’t always limit itself to questioning only their relationship. It goes beyond one couple’s existence, inevitably analysing the notion of what love can mean between any two people.

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The Wrestler (2008)

In one scene from The Wrestler, there is a response from Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) when after just having bypass surgery following a heart attack, he is told by his doctor that he must stop putting steroids into his system and can only perform mild exercise. It is as much bemusing as it is heartbreaking: “But Doc, I’m a professional wrestler!” The significance of that assertion to Randy’s story of a once great wrestling icon, now twenty years later relegated to Community Hall matches and unsatisfying signing appearances, is cemented by it being said with such conviction and pride by the actor. He is a wrestler. That is what he does. That is what he knows. Rourke embodies Ram and all his flaws in such a sincere way; the authenticity of his colossal performance raises the bar for realism.

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He Got Game (1998)

Spike Lee’s homage to the game that he loves is a passionate father and son story that hits all the right marks, most of the time. Shot in less than a month, the film was famous for Lee’s choice to use a real NBA player in the lead role of Jesus Shuttlesworth. After several considerations, he landed on (then rookie) Ray Allen.

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The Descendants (2011)

As a significant Alexander Payne fan I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed with The Descendants, his forth feature film and his first since 2006. At least compared to his three previous efforts and especially his last and my favorite, Sideways. I don’t really think as a director he is overrated like some do, but maybe his latest film is. Perhaps it is somewhat unfair to do so, but his movies tend to warrant comparison given their similar cues and nuances; all low key stories composed merely with different players and settings. I couldn’t really review this one without making them unfortunately, though I tried not to let that overtake the experience too much.

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