Love is in the air everywhere you look around. You’ve got the best of my love. I just can’t get enough of your love, babe. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me. I don’t care what they say I’m in love with you. All you need is love. Might as well face it you’re addicted to love. Come and get your love. Can you feel the love tonight?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And there’s nothing wrong with that even if all the giant displays of red hearts and fluffy things and greeting cards and hand holding couples all over the mall are trying to tell you otherwise. There’s a lot of love in the world that doesn’t fit into cardboard boxes or perfectly co-ordinate with an arbitrary date in February.
Contrary to the current array of movies playing on television (AMC is playing Titanic back-to-back for 18 hours straight. The boat sank in 3.) there are also a lot of love stories in film. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight but don’t feel like crying alone while watching the Notebook (the tired stereotype of single women on this day), let me recommend some alternatives.
Bradley Cooper plays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American history, for director Clint Eastwood. The trailer you’re about to watch is a master class in tension and marketing so pay close attention.
The marketing for Guardians of the Galaxy has basically been omnipresent for the last few months. Hardly a day went by without a new poster or image or teaser or whatever. The reason for this is simple: this is the first real test of Marvel’s brand. Guardians, like it or not, is a lesser known property and while this film connects with the over reaching continuity of the established Marvel Cinematic Universe it doesn’t actually feature any characters that we’ve already met meaning that they can’t trade on the popularity of Iron Man or Captain America they have to rely on the corporate brand. In this world of “new things are risky let’s remake something from the 1980s” that’s kind of a big deal.
So it’s a good job they knocked it out the fucking park with this movie otherwise they’d be in trouble. Yes, it’s great and you should see it. No need to even finish reading this review. Just go. Or finish reading this review and I’ll give you a few reasons why.
Guardians of the Galaxy is out in just over a month so it’s time for marketing to kick into overdrive. Here’s the latest trailer from the UK which has a slightly more traditional, for lack of a better word, trailer feel to it.
The first full trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy is finally online! We get a better sense of the characters, dialogue from Rocket, and the to hear Grott say “I am Groot”, all set to more classic rock. Let’s watch!
Remember the awesome teaser poster for Guardians of the Galaxy we saw a while back? The character assets from the poster are now available so we can get a better look at Star Lord and his rag-tag group of anti-hero frenemies.
Remember how one of the problems with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was that Harrison Ford is, well, kinda too old for the role now? Turns out that Disney may end up recasting the role but rather than rebooting the franchise as is all the rage these days they may just go the route of James Bond and make more films with new actors, and apparently at the top of the list is Bradley Cooper.
American Hustle looks like it might be another smash hit from director David O. Russell, he of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter fame. You’ve already seen a trailer for the abscam thriller and now you can get a closer look at the characters.
David O Russell has made some great films and it looks like he’s basically asked everyone who’s been nominated for an Oscar in his last few to come back and be in his new one, American Hustle. The film is a fictionalization of the ABSCAM FBI sting of the 1970s starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner. That cast alone is enough to get my butt in a seat, but there’s a trailer now too so let’s check that out.
I have a lot I’d like to say about The Place Beyond the Pines but I can’t because it would spoil the plot and that would diminish your enjoyment of this great film. Yes, it’s great and you should see it. Derek Cianfrance has assembled a feature of great power and thought and you should see it.
In fact, that’s the TL;DR version of this review. It’s great. Go watch it before you read this. I’m going to avoid saying anything that would spoil the plot but there’s plenty beyond the plot to spoil and I feel you’d go into this best if you go into it blind.
So go. I’ll wait here. Last chance. Ok good.
The Place Beyond The Pines is a fantastic film about fathers and sons and they’re influence on one another and about sins and feelings that are passed from one generation to another. It follows Handsome Luke (Ryan Gosling), a motorcycle stunt rider turned bank robber, and Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), a rookie cop who ends up involved in his case, and their relationship with their respective sons.
To say it’s a powerful film would be the understatement of the year. Gosling and Cooper as the two leads both give tremendous performances as characters under stresses they never anticipated and circumstances they’ve put themselves in.
Gosling, as with previous performances in Drive and earlier films such as The Believer seems to have mastered the art of calm, quiet rage. The rage in this case comes explicitly from his circumstance and implied self loathing rather than from an unexplored backstory.
Cooper by contrast manages to convey his characters barely covered guilt and fear with a visceral realism, and I can’t help but be reminded that he was nominated for an Oscar last year.
Both these men I am sure will win all the accolades they deserve in the next few years.
Following them is their sons, and Dane DeHaan playing Luke’s son Jason. This kid is going places. He hasn’t been in much, but between this and Chronicle the kid has some chops and I expect he’ll be one of the next big kids on the block.
The supporting cast, rounded out by Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershala Ali and Eva Mendes is pretty stellar as well. I wish Ben Mendelsohn has more to do in the film but that’s a minor quibble.
All of this is of course due largely because of Cianfrance’s directorial style. Much of the film is filmed in long single shot takes shot with unsteadied cameras. The desired effect of this –which often does not work– is to create a more intimate feeling for the film. In this case it works incredibly well, creating the feeling of being right there beside the characters as they are going through their trials.
Further, while many films will have a character (or two) explicitly state the moral or message of the film, Cianfrance elects to show instead of tell; the characters actions inform us rather than the script and i very much appreciate a film that trusts it’s audience in this way.
Cianfrane has only directed 3 features so far, and only two of those have released wide, but he can count myself as a major fan moving forward. This film is ambitious in it’s message and scope and it pulls it off on all fronts.
The Hangover was a great film. A comedy with a hard R rating and great chemistry between its three main players. The Hangover part 2 was the same move just in Thailand.
To it’s credit, The Hangover part 3 looks like it might deviate in it’s plot at least a little bit. On the flip side though it looks like Ken Jeong has a much larger part in this one and I’ve grown tired of his schtick.On the flip flip side, John Goodman as the antagonist = FUCK YES.