by David Blank
“Now You See Me” was ok – but not the greatest thing in the world. It had plenty of twists and action (one car chase scene seemed designed for the 7-year-old in me). I think my biggest problem with it was that I’m just not that into magic, which was the basis for the whole film. It came too close to being a supernatural movie, even though all of the “magic” was supposedly explained scientifically. I remain skeptical that their explanations sufficed.
The cast was its greatest strength. Morgan Freeman always pleases. Woody Harrelson revived his fun, impish grin. Newcomer Dave Franco, James’ little brother, was a scene-stealer. Isla Fisher survived her near-death experience – filming one of the stunts herself – and turned in a good performance. Jesse Eisenberg was also in it, though it’s probably the last movie of his I’ll ever see based on this interview:
. And Mark Ruffalo seems to have made it to leading-man material.
I’d give it 2-1/2 stars. See it on cable.
As it stands now, these are a few of the films and actors I expect to be among the contenders come the end of the year. Additions, changes and technical awards as things shape up through early fall.
August Osage County
Inside Llewyn Davis *** My pick to win
The Monuments Men
Saving Mr. Banks
Stories We Tell
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewn Davis
Ridley Scott – The Counselor
Hugh Jackman – Prisoners
Michael Fassbender – The Counselor
Tom Hanks – Saving Mr. Banks
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn Davis
Greta Gerwig – Frances Ha
Marion Cotillard – The Immigrant
Meryl Streep – August Osage County
Nicole Kidman – Grace of Monaco
Rooney Mara – Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
John Goodman – Inside Llewn Davis
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years A Slave
Cate Blanchett – The Monuments Men
Melissa Leo – Prisoners
Julia Roberts – August Osage County
Carey Mulligan – Inside Llewyn Davis
Oprah Winfrey – The Butler
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewyn Davis
Aaron Guzikowski – Prisoners
Tracy Letts – August Osage County
George Clooney, Grant Heslov – The Monuments Men
John Ridley, Steve McQueen – 12 Years A Slave
by David Blank
Saw the Jackie Robinson movie “42″ today. I learned a lot about a story I thought I knew. For starters, owner Branch Rickey chose Robinson based on both his ability and his temperament for the challenges he would face. Self-control was crucial – he had to constantly resist the temptation to fight back against aggressors, lest the facts get twisted and he be labeled the violent one.
He also faced other obstacles I didn’t realize – biased umpires, and teammates who didn’t back him up enough initially, for starters. Harrison Ford was great as Rickey; Law and Order SVU detective and Oz serial killer Christopher Meloni played supportive manager Leo Durocher. The rest of the cast was largely new talent who seem to have a bright future, including Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Nicole Beharie as his beautiful wife. 2 thumbs up…and I promise not to give every movie I see a glowing review!
April 23 is Shakespeare’s birthday. No single person has contributed more to the English language. For just a few of these creative linguistic additions, check out A Toast To The Bard. As a result his plays have been the source material for motion pictures, television, and adaptations based on that material, not to mention all the references in dialogue, quotes and outright theft of plots. Just a cursory itemization results in more than 400 such works, Check out this List of William Shakespeare screen adaptations. Here are just a few to sample.
Shakespeare In Love (1998)
Romeo and Juliet
West Side Story (based on Romeo and Juliet)
Kiss Me Kate (based on Taming of The Shrew)
One of my all time favorite series of novels are those that make up Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy”. One subplot tells of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who build a computer “Deep Thought” to calculate the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. The answer revealed was 42. Of course, no one knows the proper question to get that answer, but that’s another very funny problem.
One of the best questions ever solved by the answer of 42 was: Which baseball player will be remembered as one of the greatest players ever both on and off the field? Today is the anniversary of the day when Jackie Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field as number 42 for the Dodgers. On April 15, 1947 Jackie became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line.
Today every major league player will wear Jackie’s number in tribute to the grace, strength, and achievements of the man. You might want to take this weekend to see the movie about his first season in baseball. 42 – The Jackie Robinson Story
David & Craig 1987
David & Craig April 6, 2013
Yesterday, my co-writer on this site married his partner of 25 years Craig Crawford. May all of their future years be as happy as the past.