Mar 5, 2013 / 11:00 am
New out on DVD/Blu-ray for Tuesday March 5.
The Master tells the story of Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a World War II veteran struggling to adjust to a post-war society who meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a leader of a religious movement known as "The Cause" who sees something in Quell and accepts him into the movement. Freddie takes a liking to "The Cause" and begins traveling with Dodd along the East Coast to spread the teachings.
One of the best films of 2012, The Master is a brilliant examination of the insidious nature of religious cults and the mind controlling power that their charismatic leaders often wield. It is loosely inspired by and based on Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard, who just happened to create the movement in 1950, the same year that the film takes place in.
The performances all around are superb and the Oscar nominations that Phoenix, Hoffman and Amy Adams received were very well deserved. This is totally an actor's movie. It is a completely character driven film about ideas and emotions. I truly marveled at the incredible work on display here.
Once again director Paul Thomas Anderson proves that he is one of the finest American filmmakers working in the industry today. He's created a fascinating and compelling character study that challenges the mind. It's also a beautifully shot film and it's a shame that it wasn't recognized with a nomination for cinematography.
If you are in the mood for a thought provoking and intelligent drama that doesn't necessarily play within the conventions of the Hollywood studio system then I urge you to seek out The Master.
It's an amazing piece of work!
Wreck-it Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-it Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes... so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan - win a medal - but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade?
The latest offering from the wonderful world of Disney is a really fun film that will definitely appeal to children since it has a slew of colourful and funny characters as well as eye-popping visuals. It takes the viewer inside the world of the video arcade and shows us what actually goes on inside the games that reside there. I appreciated that behind the scenes attention to detail as well as the multitude of cameo appearances from recognizable characters such as Pac-Man, Q*bert, Bowser and Sonic the Hedgehog.
If I had one gripe about the film, it's that it spent a bit too much time in the land of Sugar Rush with its landscape of gumdrops and lollipops, and the hectic sequences clearly skewed the film to a younger audience. I wouldn't be surprised if some adults may grow tired of the constant colourful chaos.
I can't be too hard on it though because the film does have its sentimental heart in the right place and it is very cute and sweet. Wreck-it Ralph is a fine piece of family entertainment that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Check it out!
Based on a true story of friendship between a handicapped millionaire (François Cluzet) and his street smart ex-con caretaker (Omar Sy), The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humour between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common. This comedy drama has broken box office records in its native France and across Europe.
I enjoyed The Intouchables. It's a nice, heartwarming and uplifting little film featuring some fine performances. It certainly delves into the odd couple formula quite a bit, but the characters are quite likable and it didn't come across as too forced for the most part.
Cynics may roll their eyes at this one, but I think that this charming French film is well worth seeking out.
Foreign film fans should give this a look.
A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.
This remake of the 1984 film stars Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson and Adrianne Palicki.
Wow, where do I start with this one?
Red Dawn reaches incomprehensible levels of suck. It is absolutely terrible and had I watched it a couple of months ago it easily would have cracked my top 5 worst films of the year list. This noisy, dumb action picture truly is a piece of junk that shouldn't have even been made in the first place. I've sacrificed my time to watch this crap so that you don't have to. Heed my warning!
Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!
Also out this week is the Barry Levinson directed eco-thriller, The Bay, the comedy starring Martin Donovan and David Morse called Collaborator, and the Canadian drama, Foreverland, starring Sarah Wayne Callies, Juliette Lewis and Max Thieriot.
Blast From the Past
With the release of the excellent film The Master this week I thought I would shine a spotlight on the brilliant director Paul Thomas Anderson, who not only is one of my favourite directors right now, but easily one of the finest filmmakers of this generation. One could even goes as far as to compare him to one of the all-time great maverick filmmakers Orson Welles, who consistently eschewed the confines of the studio system. His work is influenced heavily by and compares to some of the greats like Jean Renoir, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese, and in my opinion he has yet to make a bad film. Here are his previous five films that I feel everyone who truly appreciates cinema needs to make every effort to seek out.
Hard Eight (1996) - This excellent low-key crime thriller features wonderful performances from Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson. Anderson's first feature length film is a character study of an aging gambler who befriends a younger man who is down on his luck in order to show him the ropes on how to make money in Vegas. Some interesting twists ensue along the way. Look for Philip Seymour Hoffman in a very minor role in what would be the first of five collaborations with PTA. This may be a tough film to find anywhere, but it is well worth it.
Boogie Nights (1997) - This is the film that really put Anderson on the map and announced his arrival as a new cinematic voice to look out for. It's a sprawling epic drama about the porn industry during its heyday in the late 70's and early 80's and the rise and fall of a young star named Dirk Diggler, played superbly by Mark Wahlberg. With a tremendous ensemble cast of actors playing a whole host of colourful characters, Boogie Nights transitions from comedic moments to shocking violence in ways that reminded me of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Boogie Nights is quite the awesome ride.
Magnolia (1999) - I distinctly remember when I saw this operatic character study in the theater and approximately 18 people got up and left, most likely due to the excessive offensive language (the majority of fleers were in the elderly age bracket), so there is no denying that this is one divisive film. You either love it or hate it. Obviously I fall into the former category. PTA's aptly titled film unfurls brilliantly, much like a flower in bloom. It's long and dense and contains an enormous cast of memorable characters and situations. Ironically the obscene and profanity spewing character that likely caused the majority of walkouts was the one that the Academy singled out, nominating Tom Cruise for Best Supporting Actor. Go figure! However you feel about the film, Magnolia is quite the experience.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002) - Hands down, the best film that Adam Sandler has ever been any part of. This offbeat and quirky romantic comedy drama was a vast departure for Sandler from the formulaic and really silly broad comedies that he is normally in. PTA was actually able to draw out a fully realized performance out of him where he wasn't having to rely on schtick constantly and it worked. It's too bad he didn't continue to branch out into films like this though and instead chose his current juvenile path of one crappy comedy after another. Oh well, at least there is this charming oddball little film that also starred Emily Watson, Luis Guzmán and Mary Lynn Rajskub. This one will make you smile.
There Will Be Blood (2007) - Simply put, There Will Be Blood is a bona fide masterpiece and easily one of the best films of the past decade. In my opinion this is Paul Thomas Anderson's crowning achievement. Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis delivers one of the most mesmerizing performances you are ever likely to see as a ruthless oilman who seeks wealth and fortune during the turn of the century. This is a beautifully shot film so rich with strong characters and compelling drama that really showcases the greed and obsession of capitalism. It's heavily influenced by, and would make a great companion picture to, Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart. The "I drink your milkshake" scene towards the end of the film has already become the stuff of legends. There Will Be Blood is without a doubt a true American classic.
New out on DVD/Blu-ray is brought to you by Leo's Videos, 2680 Pandosy St. (250) 861-8437
Read more Cinema Scoop articles
- Your weekend movie guide May 10
- New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week May 7
- Movie Review: Iron Man 3 May 3
- Iron Man 3 blasts into cinemas tonight May 2
- New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week Apr 30
- 'Pain & Gain' more pain than gain Apr 27
- "The Rock" set to deliver 'Pain & Gain' Apr 26
- New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week Apr 23
- Visit 'The Place Beyond the Pines' Apr 20
- 'Oblivion' less than stellar science fiction Apr 19
- New out on DVD/Blu-ray this week Apr 16
- '42' a grand slam crowd pleaser! Apr 13
(Click for RSS instructions.)