Mini-Review: The Walk

The Walk

PG, 123 Minutes, 2015

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About: Exactly as in the excellent documentary Man on Wire, a Frenchman decides to walk a wire between the Twin Towers

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as not quite Pepe LePew, Ben Kingsley as Ben Kingsley in every movie of the past 2 decades, Charlotte Le Bon as really pretty but bland, and people you’ve never heard of

Directed: Robert Zemeckis who has a pretty impressive career and also The Polar Express

Best Thing About It: Passes the Apollo 13 test – I know how it ends, but I am still tense and interested

Worst Thing About It: Some of the American supporting characters are really stereotyped 1970s – although in real life they may have been that way too

Oddest Thing About It: The constant CGI of the World Trade Center reminded more more of how I thought of them during my childhood (boxy, powerful, iconic) than as just 9/11 images. This is a good thing.

Overall: The walk on the wire itself itself is worth it especially in IMAX 3D. Breathtaking. JGL somehow let me believe he was a Frenchman (which he actually speaks) despite that outrageous accent. Twin Towers CGI was fantastic. 1st half a little whimsical. 2nd half is spellbinding.

Rating: 3 RaMaKs (3 ½ perhaps if you see it in IMAX 3D)
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Best Films of 2013

top-10-films-2013I wish I’d seen all of them – all the foreign films, documentaries, independents, even the poorly rated blockbusters. But I’m just an arm chair critic and seeing over 70 films in 2013 is a heck of lot anyway.

Another very good, but not outstanding year. Few of these films will be classics in a decade, but they were plenty enjoyable to watch. Of my top 10, 7 were based on real life stories. My tastes also seem to match up to the Academy more and more. Of the 9 best picture nominees, 7 are in my top 10 and the other 2 in my Top 20.  I chalk this up to not seeing enough independent and foreign films.

I’ll share Oscar predictions closer to the show.

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The Oscar Red Carpet Experience – Star Search

Sally FieldSo I saw a lot of celebrities on the Red Carpet from the bleachers. It wasn’t always easy. Some were in a big ole hurry. And the carpet was jammed with people, so it easy to miss someone – especially a man in a regular tux. So when Aaron Tveit walked by on the carpet, I’m sad I missed him, but I can see how he was overlooked by everyone. (Just as his amazing performance in Les Misérables wasn’t given its due)

Of the 25 nominees for director and acting, we saw 21 of them. The only ones we never saw apparently did not walk the carpet: Denzel Washington, Emmanuelle Riva (no surprise), Michael Haneke, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. There is a side door off of Hollywood Blvd. for people to come and go without touching the press or the crowds.

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The Fun Rush of Premium Rush

This will be a brief review. I figure I shouldn’t spend more time writing about the film than they did writing the actual screenplay. But that’s not a knock on Premium Rush. Granted the trailer looked awful. The name is forgettable (and thankfully only mentioned once). But after seeing many positive reviews from diverse sources, I took a dive in. My belief that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the most talented diverse young actor today (having taken the mantle, I believe, from a now older Edward Norton) only helped.

This fun summer ride is what summer action movies should be about…at least the ones without explosions, superheroes, robots, dinosaurs, aliens, or CGI.

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