Currently browsing the "Joel Edgerton" tag.

Loving

It’s been several weeks since I saw Loving. It was the final day of the Middleburg Film Festival and I felt inspired, almost humbled to watch the movie in Virginia, the state at the center of Loving, which is based on a true story. It never occurred to me that its wide release would coincide with the immediate aftermath of one of the most divisive Presidential elections in U.S. history. An election that would threaten the very foundation of the Supreme Court and potentially undermine precedents it has set to right the wrongs of history and protect a citizen’s right to marry whomever they want, regardless of race or sexual orientation.

Black Mass

There’s really only one reason to see Black Mass – and that is the performance of Johnny Depp as south Boston’s notorious Irish mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger. Depp has been hit or miss (okay, maybe just miss) in recent years, so it’s nice to see him in something that doesn’t suck, in a role that could very well get him an Oscar nomination. Black Mass isn’t a great movie – in fact, as a crime drama based on a rather fascinating true story, it’s not very dramatic or entertaining. But it does have some killer moments (pun intended) and solid performances by a supporting cast that includes: Joel Edgerton as FBI agent John Connolly, a childhood friend who protects Bulger by claiming him as an informant against the bigger, badder Italian Mafia; Benedict Cumberbatch as Whitey’s brother Billy, a powerful Massachusetts state senator who seems to be in constant denial of Whitey’s dark side; and Dakota Johnson (50 Shades) as Whitey’s girlfriend and mother of his child. Her role is small but she definitely makes the most of it.

The Gift

This film seemed to fly under the radar for me. But it really shouldn’t have. It is a very creepy and very well-done psychological thriller. Written and directed by and starring Australian actor Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, The Great Gatsby), it is the story of a young couple, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), who move to Los Angeles, and run into a former schoolmate of Simon’s who knows him better than his wife. And who isn’t afraid to use that knowledge against him.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a glitzy and fantastical cautionary tale about excess and heartbreak. It’s a literary classic brought to 3D life with decent actors, lavish party scenes, and a cool soundtrack that somehow manages to infuse contemporary rap into the rhythms of the Roaring 1920s. So why didn’t I like it all that much? Perhaps because, ultimately, I felt as disconnected and disillusioned as the characters themselves. They didn’t make me care. Or cry. Or laugh. Or feel much of anything. Granted, the book never grabbed me either, unlike my favorite high school read, “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Now that movie (with Gregory Peck) never fails to move me. It’s as brilliant and enduring in its simplicity as Gatsby is boring and fleeting in its grandiosity. That said, if you do like “The Great Gatsby” novel, then you may glean something more from the movie than I did. My literary-minded seatmate thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is pure Disney. It’s simple, sweet and sappy with a healthy mix of humor and heart. It’s not a must see, but it’s still a fine choice if you’re looking for a family dramedy that can entertain those slightly older kids who claim to be over the whole animation thing. The movie stars Jennifer Garner (Alias, 13 Going on 30) and Joel Edgerton (Warrior) as Cindy and Jim Green, a happily married couple about to give up on their dream of having a child. One night, they put pencil to paper (pencils play a big role in this flick) and draft a quirky list of all the qualities their dream child would have. They bury the list in the garden and prepare to move on with their lives. Then it rains. And Timothy appears.

Warrior

Warrior is NOT this year’s The Fighter, though it tries really, really hard to be. Instead, it’s a decent but cliché-ridden movie that borrows from every sports drama known to man (and woman, too). Take two cups of Rocky, throw in a dash of Raging Bull, mix in a tablespoon of Cinderella Man, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurricane, and of course, The Fighter, and you’ve got something close to Warrior. But then again, what do you expect from a movie that centers around Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), a brutally fascinating sport that combines the skills of boxing, wrestling, karate, kick boxing, jiu jitsu and more? Never heard of MMA? Better get with the program, ‘cause this once cult phenomenon (a.k.a. “cage fighting”) isn’t just for closet UFC fans anymore. It’s pounding its way into the mainstream, with millions of devotees worldwide.