Movie News

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Now Playing: Selma, The Imitation Game, Taken 3, Inherent Vice


Official Synopsis: SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernays SELMA tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.

North's Thoughts:
Everything I've read or heard about this film conveys the same message: it's powerful.
Sometimes historical films can lack a certain bite and turn out like made for TV movies.
Did you ever see The Alamo (2004)?
Just plain brutal.
By all accounts Selma is the opposite: it's a moving, relevant and done very well.
It has a 100% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Getting over eighty critics to agree on anything is nearly impossible, so go in with confidence!

The Imitation Game

Official Synopsis: During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of 'gross indecency', an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality - little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, THE IMITATION GAME follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.

North's Thoughts:
These days Benedict Cumberbatch can do no wrong.
He was awesome as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.
He had a brilliant turn, in the supremely great, August: Osage County.
And seems to be all over the stage and the voice-over booth, all the time (he is Smaug too!).
And now, it looks like his work in The Imitation Game will get him an Academy Award nomination.
It doesn't take Mr. Turing to figure out that you should go see this film.

Taken 3

Official Synopsis: Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, whose reconciliation with his ex-wife is tragically cut short when she is brutally murdered. Consumed with rage, and framed for the crime, he goes on the run to evade the relentless pursuit of the CIA, FBI and the police. For one last time, Mills must use his "particular set of skills," to track down the real killers, exact his unique brand of justice, and protect the only thing that matters to him now - his daughter.

North's Thoughts:
A while ago I made a confession on Twitter that sent a few shockwaves:
I have never seen Taken or Taken 2.
Impossible, right?
Blasphemy, possibly?
I usually see fifty to one hundred new films a year, but somehow, some way, I never caught them.
I have seen about half a dozen parody bits and skits on TV, but I have never been "taken".
This is a promise that I will watch all three by the end of 2015.
What is a life without goals?

Inherent Vice

Official Synopsis:"Inherent Vice," is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello's ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin...well, easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," that's being way too overused - except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp - all Thomas Pynchon.

North's Thoughts:
Paul Thomas Anderson.
That's it.
I don't care what the premise is, or from what book it was adapted.
P.T.A. is one of the best directors of all-time and if he makes a new film, I'll be there.
Put it this way: I read a list that ranked his films and it said The Master was his worst.
If your "worst" movie garners three Academy Award nominations, you're doing something special.

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