“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.
While only tangential to a discussion of director J.C. Chandor’s “All Is Lost,” it occurs that we are a species of comparers. To wit, the question most asked of your humble auditor this week: Whose performance is better, Robert Redford as a yachtsmen adrift in the Indian Ocean in this movie, or Sandra Bullock as the lost-in-space medical officer in “Gravity?”
If you find yourself smiling, chuckling and even guffawing at the antics of the four old pals who gather for a bachelor party, wedding and reunion in director Jon Turteltaub’s “Last Vegas,” you’re probably giving away your age. But don’t worry. To coin a phrase, what happens in “Last Vegas” stays in “Last Vegas.” Get used to it. Odds are good that before the Baby Boomers all go to that Woodstock in the sky there will be many an homage to their cluster.
“The Counselor,” director Ridley Scott’s awkwardly convoluted, displeasuring homage to the dark side of humanity, sent me back to the scene of an embarrassing literary faux pas, sophomore year in high school. Disenchanted with John O’Hara’s collection of short stories, “Pipe Night,” I informed in my book review that it was ennuous.
As you view the tragic story of teenager Carrie White, emotively portrayed by Chloë Grace Moretz, odds are your hard drive will recall a shameful instance of victimization that took place at your own high school. Mr. King has made Carrie the poster child for this cruel depravity, his narrative ostensibly a contemporary folk-horror known to most, replete with extravagantly punishing moral lesson.
Amidst the myriad of political, emotional and economic perplexities blisteringly explored in director Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips,” there is only one sure truth: Tom Hanks, who portrays the title character, does not rest on his laurels. Boy oh boy, this is relentlessly taut, seat-edged stuff, astutely conceived, directed and acted.
Advisory: Arrange to take in a lighthearted comedy immediately after seeing director Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity,” a tension-filled space adventure like nothing in recent memory. You will need said antidote. My stomach has just stopped churning enough for me to write this review.
The asphalt rumbles like nothing you’ve ever heard or felt before…a symphony of horsepower in metal, rubber, plastic and dangerously powerful racing fuel. The flags of nations wave in the grandstands, complemented by the splashing advertisements of big name sponsors.
“Sexual addiction?” skeptically muses Gwyneth Paltrow’s Phoebe in Stuart Blumberg’s “Thanks for Sharing” after Mark Ruffalo’s Adam divulges his affliction. “I thought that’s just something guys use if they get caught cheating.” Precisely, just what most of us thought. However, per this very well written, illuminating tale, a fiction doubtlessly inspired by some very hard facts, the sad truth is otherwise.