Archive for December, 2014

25th December
2014
written by Adam

A genius to some, a literary professor to others, a gambler to a whole different crowd, Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), has managed to get into the pocket of some difficult men– dangerous men who want to be paid back for their loans. It’ll take cunning, smarts, a woman/student (Brie Larson), and the sage advice of loan shark named Frank (John Goodman), to dig his way out of his own misery, but is it too late?
Directed by Rupert Wyatt this suspenseful, dramatic, and unintentionally dry comedy shines a light on the seedy underbelly of the gambling world, big dollars, high stakes, and bigger problems. And for Wahlberg, while its hard to take him seriously as a lit prof, he still manages to create a likable antihero; despite his character’s flaws we still want to see him learn and succeed, well done Mark. And, John Goodman, the man steals the show, he’s like a modern day Buddha with a foul mouth, the uncle you never had (but wished you did), the right guy at the right time. All but for a final running sequence in the film where no one breaks a sweat, you’ve got a winner here as well. The Gambler is rated R.

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25th December
2014
written by Adam

Based on the work done by mathematical genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbach)and his team’s efforts during World War II to crack the German Enigma code; this is a window into Turing’s world, his struggles as a closet homosexual, and the people who supported him as he created the world’s first supercomputer.
Directed by Morten Tyldum this biopic powerhouse demands attention from the viewer and serves as a solid stage for Cumberbach to once again display his talents as one of the strongest up and coming actors in cinema today. Work from Kiera Knightly, Matthew Goode, and Allen Leech as supporting characters is also notable and the overall screenplay, which albeit at times is too convenient and artistically embellished, serves as a fascinating historical lesson that might otherwise go unnoticed. Oddly enough, it’s only in the last few moments the film squarely addresses homosexuality in England in the 1940’s through epilogue before the credits roll, strange. Still, not to be missed, The Imitation Game is rated PG-13.

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25th December
2014
written by Adam

Following a bitter divorce and relocation to San Francisco, Margaret (Amy Adams) finds herself in need of employment to support her daughter. A talented painter, Margaret would quickly find work painting children’s furniature and selling her own art on the weekends at a local artist’s market. At the market she would eventually meet Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), a charismatic and dashing man who appeared to have the world on a string. In haste the two would marry and attempt to make a living with their art. But, as time would tell, Walter was a brand of evil that Margaret had little defense against. Finding her inner strength and following her artistic muse would be the only thing that could save her, but would she find both before it was too late?
Marking a return to a more terrestrial style of film, Director Tim Burton has created an interesting piece. Interesting in that the overall story, while a fascinating biography, is told in a rather straightforward manner and comes across rather bland and void of the Burton magic audiences have come to expect. The work done by Adams is certainly notable but the direction and lunacy of Waltz’s character is hard to digest. If anything the film does manage to peak a curiosity in Margaret’s work, old and new, but doesn’t do much for cinema. Big Eyes is rated PG-13.

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