Currently browsing the "Jude Law" tag.

Review: The Rhythm Section

Think of your heart as the drums, your breathing as the bass. That’s pretty much my only takeaway of note from The Rhythm Section and I’m still not sure how it works. Then again, I’m no musician. Or assassin.

The film, based on the popular novel by Mark Burnell, stars Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick, a broken young woman bent on revenge and craving redemption after she learns that a plane crash that killed her entire family was no accident. I’ve heard the book was quite good. Unfortunately, the movie is not. The ‘rhythm’ is off on everything – from the plot, to the editing, to the music and the casting.

Review: Captain Marvel

I’ll tread carefully here, though I don’t think there are many actual spoilers to worry about. That’s because Captain Marvel is an origin story meant to set the stage for future appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – most importantly, perhaps, in the highly-anticipated Avengers: Endgame. Suffice it to say, Captain Marvel (aka Carol Danvers aka Vers) is poised to become a worthy addition to a franchise that is generally dominated by super-dudes. She’s like a synthesis of Superman (I know, he’s DC Comics, but cut me some slack here) and two of my favorite Marvel Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America. She’s super-fast, super-strong and super-sassy, with an innate ability to absorb and shoot energy from the palms of her hands in a way that is likely to make Spider-Man quite jealous. So where did she come from?

Review: Vox Lux

Vox Lux aka A Pop Star is Born begins in 1999 with a school shooting where young Celeste played by Raffey Cassidy (Tomorrowland, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) is badly injured, but survives. And when she performs a song she’s written with her sister at the memorial to express her feelings, it strikes a chord with the public and before you know it she’s a little pop star, despite having middling talent. The rest of the film is a meditation on our fixation with celebrity and violence and what that does to older Celeste played by Natalie Portman as she lives through it. I can see why the concept would attract a writer to hang a story on it, but unfortunately the execution of the film doesn’t ultimately support such a heavy load.

Genius

Growing up in small town Asheville, North Carolina, we didn’t have many famous people we could claim. But the great writer Thomas Wolfe was ours. So when they made a movie about him, we had to see it. Genius isn’t just about Wolfe (Jude Law) though. Adapted from “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius” by A. Scott Berg, the film looks at Wolfe’s relationship with Perkins (Colin Firth), the editor who had an out-sized role in crafting his masterpieces and was his closest friend. Given the subject matter, the film should have been a lot better.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

In his latest fabulously outrageous film The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson introduces us to Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), the concierge to end all concierges who takes enterprising lobby boy Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) under his wing. The movie is visually stunning and laugh out loud hilarious, and what totally sold me was its witty use of language and music to give another layer to its story set in a first class hotel in a fictional eastern European country in that elegant era between the wars. And the chemistry between the older, wiser hotelier and his young protégé is delicious! What begins as a mentoring relationship quickly turns to a zany buddy romp when one of the hotel’s wealthy guests (Tilda Swinton) is murdered and Gustave is thrown in jail. And only Zero can save him.

Side Effects

Here’s how the studio pitches it: “SIDE EFFECTS is a provocative thriller about Emily and Martin (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum), a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law) – intended to treat anxiety – has unexpected side effects.” On the surface, that description seemed like a prescription for box office boredom (to me). But now, having seen the movie, I understand the struggle to come up with a better way to spin this movie without giving too much away. The less you know, the better. But know this: Side Effects is an absorbing, thought-provoking, and unpredictable drama. In other words, it’s quite good.

Anna Karenina

If ever there were a Chick Flick shoo in, this should be it. A tragic heroine foolishly throwing off her shackles for a forbidden love, and all wrapped up in really beautiful clothes — not to mention adapted from one of the greatest of all Russian novels. Anna Karenina stars Keira Knightley and is directed by Joe Wright who also made Atonement and Pride and Prejudice with her in the lead. In case you never read the book, the basic story is that Anna is married to a Russian aristocrat and high-ranking civil servant (Jude Law). They have a young son she adores, but a chance meeting with a handsome young army officer, Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), changes her very staid life in every way possible. It is love at first sight, and in late nineteenth century Russian society, even rich women had few rights and a long list of rules they were required to live by. Having a very visible affair was definitely not an option.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

They’re baaack! Holmes and Watson (Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law) pick up slightly after we last saw them in the first Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Watson is about to be married, and Holmes is still not entirely happy about it. And meanwhile, bombs are going off all over Europe, and while everyone else is blaming it on anarchists, Sherlock knows that it has something to do with his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). He just has to put the pieces together, and he is willing to play Moriarty’s extreme body-count cat and mouse game if necessary, even if it means ruining Watson’s honeymoon.

Hugo

Martin Scorsese’s new child friendly adaptation of “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” called simply Hugo is the second film I’ve seen this month that is a paean to the world of silent film. Unlike The Artist, however, this one is neither silent nor is it in black and white. It is full, glorious color and even available in 3D. (I opted for the 2D version.) It is the story of an orphaned boy (Asa Butterfield) who lives in the secret chambers of a Paris train station keeping all the clocks running on time, while hiding from the over-zealous station master (Sacha Baron Cohen) who has it in for unaccompanied children.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Terry Gilliam does not make mainstream movies. They are always quirky and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is no exception. Part of the strangeness this time is that (as anyone who has not been living in an underground lair is aware) Heath Ledger died while they were shooting and they had to come up with a way to finish it without him. So for three fantasy sequences in the movie (that somehow make perfect sense anyway), the character Tony meant to be portrayed by HL is played instead by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell — not too shabby as stand-ins, if you ask me.