Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 Books and Movies

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

This was phenomenal, if not a little bit depressing. I don't generally love Ethan Hawke, but he was really good in this. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Albert Finney were suberb as usual. The concept was definitely unique. Two brothers rob their parents jewellery store only to have things go horribly wrong. The incredible character arcs of the three male leads along with the two supporting female roles (Marissa Tomei and Amy Ryan) make this film imminently watchable. The director, Sydney Lumet is every inch the master of detail. I studied 12 Angry Men in university film class, so I wasn't surprised that this was a character driven dose of gritty realism. After the credits rolled, I just sat there, digesting. A must see.

The Hobbit

I'm really surprised that this book is being made into three movies. Two I could have seen, but three? Don't get me wrong, I love LOTR as much as the next nerd, and loved the Hobbit to bits, both as a child and as an adult. But this just seems like a cash grab.

The movie was too long. If you're not familiar with the book, the characters are incredibly confusing. A number of years have passed since the Fellowship of the Ring was released, and you can tell. Especially with the elf characters who are supposed to be immortal. In today's world of computer genius and CGI, why did they only go with makeup? Cate Blanchette is beautiful at any age, but she doesn't look immortal 11 years on. Neither does Elrond (Hugo Weaving).

That being said, it was breathtakingly shot and well acted. I'm really looking forward to the next movie and to seeing more than just Smaug's eye. :)

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