Maybe Ralph Fiennes, who plays Charles Dickens in “The Invisible Woman,” a quasi-biopic about the legendary author’s secret relationship with his much younger mistress, Nelly (née Ellen Ternan), shouldn’t have directed himself.
If you had never ever seen an action/spy/thriller, then it’s quite possible director Kenneth Branagh’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” based on characters created by Tom Clancy, would wow you…at least somewhat. However, if you are among the other several hundred million of us moviegoers who have been force-fed this formula for decades, you will recognize its long, white beard.
Oh, to be 17 or 18 again, and blown away by a potentially transformative, epiphanic film like Spike Jonze’s “Her.” Life-affirming, bursting with originality and full of the promise that there is indeed a greater understanding somewhere out there, it’s the sort of revelation that makes you want to explore and learn forever and ever.
“Well, that was uplifting.” Thus spake disparagingly a woman who looked like Sarah Silverman in about twenty years as she exited from a showing of “Dallas Buyers Club.” The picture stars Matthew McConaughey as an AIDS victim, circa 1985, who finesses an entrepreneurial way to battle the affliction. Too bad she and her moviegoing contingent didn’t wait to read my review. I might have saved them a buck.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” occurs in a time and place like ours, only more so. The Haves are having their way, and the Have-nots are doing what the Haves say, but only for the most part. So hark, the annual Hunger Games, the 75th to be specific, dubbed this time The Quarter Quell, have been called.