Time has certainly flown by the last couple of weeks, and so has life and (thankfully!) copious amounts of work. That said, a slew of movies has flooded the cinemas now that awards season is in full gear. If anyone has noticed, not only have the Goyas and Gaudis come and gone but also the BAFTAs (an oft-high indicator of Oscar glory…so, apparently Hook ‘Em Horns and about damn time, Linklater!). Hell…even the Grammys had some good moments last week. But in that time, some celluloid gems have hit the screen, so let’s run through some bright patches.
First, the films already showing over the last week or two, and I would like to merely throw some belated choices out there, starting with Jean Marc Vallee’s Wild (Alma Salvaje). This film, in my personal opinion, carries with it the strength and brutal, visceral honesty of its protagonist and no one could have portrayed it like Reese Witherspoon. Truth be told, if any of the Oscar-nominated Best Actresses deserve the award it’s Reese, who gives what could be an even more intense performance than what she did in Walk the Line. ####
Secondly, Foxcatcher. Anybody who knows the story of the ’84 and ‘88 Olympics Wrestling team from the USA likely knows the follow-up story involving multimillionaire heir to the du Pont throne. What starts as a recruitment process at the beginning of the film ends up as an intense dysfunctional relationship that turns into murder. Gripping. Moving if a bit stretched in its historical musings. Channing Tatum and Steve Carrell are incredible, though Mark Ruffalo leaves a bit to be desired when one knows he was nominated for his role as Best Supporting Actor and Tatum wasn’t. ###-1/2
Next on the late but quick list…the new Spongebob Squarepants film. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll love it. If you’re not, skip it. Frankly, I loved it! ##
This past weekend brought with it a few new releases but all were overshadowed by the erotic drama 50 Shades of Grey, timely released right before Valentine’s Day weekend. Part of the reason why this blog comes so late this week is due to the fact that I vehemently tried to ignore its release and then finally caved to watch it. For pushing boundaries, the film can’t be hailed, that’s certain. The film tells the story of young uni student Anastasia doing a favour for her roomie by interviewing young and wealthy businessman Christian Grey, who then make advances by following up on the naive Ana. Okay, truth be told, the actors grow on you. Jamie Dornan’s piercing eyes and raunchy way is alluring to be sure, but it’s Dakota Johnson’s soft touch to Anastasia that really made me stick with the film. To be fair, Basic Instinct Unrated was steamier than this softcore lite porn fantasy, but that won’t stop hordes of women lining up for weeks to come. ###
When you factor in another release COMPLETELY on the other side of the fence, you come up with Tusk, the latest horror foray by director Kevin Smith. It’s safe to say this is a mind bomb that relies on the suspension of disbelief to get through. In a way, it gives a trip down Surreal Lane when one thinks that people are really running with the idea of melding humans and animals and projecting that onto celluloid. Frankly, I couldn’t finish The Human Centipede, but I got through this schlock and I loved it. It was beyond mad caper and the premise so as to not ruin the characters should you choose to see the film involves a podcaster, an investigation gone awry and a madman obsessed with fusing a being with a walrus. Go figure! ###
Every Friday from 9-10 a.m., you can catch me on Fuel for Fridays English Radio on RKB 106.9 with Katrina Logie. Looking forward to hearing from you!