Gordon & Barbara in Paris

Gordon & Barbara in Paris
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Monday, January 7, 2013

The Impossible

THE IMPOSSIBLE--Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, Starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts/ with Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast /screenplay by Sergio G. Sanchez from a true story written by Maria Belon/ PG-13/ 1hr47min

Bifocal Review written by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy

(B) This film, was based on a true story, but the names were changed to protect the innocent; But seriously, the names WERE changed to suit the cast, rather than the Hispanic family that was being portrayed. I didn’t have time to let that little fact bother me, as I found the underwater filming to be mesmerizing and was totally immersed in the ravaging tidal wave and dramatic fight for survival that began shortly after the film opened. The entire cast-- from the adult stars and co-stars to the children and natives of Thailand--were remarkably convincing. Everything about this film made me feel as if I was transported from my seat in the theater to be among the families who experienced this tragic event. It was a compelling dramatization of one the overwhelming forces of Mother Nature. Kudos to everyone involved in creating such realistic special effects. On the Bifocals Scale, four being best, I give this film three-and-a-half binoculars.

(OG) The Impossible is the type of movie where, the more you learn about the backstory, the more you like what you already enjoyed on the screen. The Impossible blends phenomenal special effects and great acting with a tale of synchronicity and true life adventure that poignantly establishes that “doing the right thing” is a desire that transcends cultures, races and religions. Two scenes stand out for me. One is where the mother, played by Naomi Watts, wounded and bleeding and decides to put her own safety aside to save a child that is calling for help nearby. The “lesson” is not lost on her eldest son, who later takes him mind off his own problems by helping other victims locate loved ones. I found the film very inspiring and recommend it. Also, the young boys who play the sons are ALL consummate actors at young ages and should be acknowledged in upcoming awards ceremonies. A solid three and a half binoculars from me as well.

Django Unchained

Django Unchained—Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino/Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L.Jackson and many more/rated R/2hr45min

(B) There’s bound to be some criticism about this violent comedy, given the films subject, however I enjoyed this movie. I chose to look at this more as a comedy and I think Tarantino took on this challenge hoping his audience would do the same. Make no mistake; Djano Unchained was Tarantino’s signature blood bath.  I’m sure tackling a subject as complex as slavery was indeed difficult.  Christoph Waltz‘s role is that of a clever but funny dentist/ bounty hunter, who frees Django to help identify some wanted men. What they encounter along the way is at times most comical as well as extremely brutal.  Christoph’s dialog is magical. Django (Foxx’s character) is also seeking his wife, who was sold to another plantation owner. DeCaprio truly embraces the role of master of the evil Candieland Plantation and proves a worthy opponent for both Foxx and Waltz.  Samuel Jackson, in an unusual role for him, serves DeCaprio through hell and fire even, when it would hurt his own people.  Jackson knew as long as he served at Candieland, he was as close to a free man as he was going to get. It is very interesting the way it all plays out.  It’s hard to pick a best performance; they were all so well cast. I give the edge to Christoph mainly because of his dialog.  Let me close by saying how much I abhor violence, but I have to say I laughed at many scenes and I was entertained.  I give this film three and half binoculars and would not be surprised to see a Django 2. 

(OG) I can’t remember, but did anyone complain about the use of the “N” word or fart humor when Blazing Saddles came out? As for Django Unchained, let’s not forget that this is the same writer-director who killed Hitler in Inglorious Basterds (something for which I will always be eternally grateful) and has proven he is not afraid to splash buckets of blood where others might only require a single drop. In fact, the outlandishness of the explosive special effects (heads literally exploding off of bodies when shot, for instance) add to the comic-book effect of this and every other Tarantino film. I just can’t respond to this type of violence in the same way that I might in a film like Saving Private Ryan. It is too over-the-top to be taken seriously. You should not go to see Django if you are either still fighting the Civil War or are unhappy with the results. Django Unchained deals with the idiocy of slavery, and other usually taboo topics like bigotry, mindless prejudice or human cruelty in, apparently the only way that we are able to talk about these things here in the U.S.A.  If you go to a Quentin Tarantino movie expecting restraint, then you just haven’t seen some of his classics, such as Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill 1&2, From Dusk Till Dawn, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown or Natural Born Killers (to name but a few). I liked Django, the character, the actor and what the story represents: Quentin Tarantino giving Big Screen opportunity at role reversal in a great injustice. This film earns four binoculars from me, and shared by Quentin and all the others who continue to ride along with him on these wonderful adventures.