The kid-friendly Tomorrowland opens this weekend with a cool adventure that should entertain the 7 to 16 year old crowd. Those of all ages who just can’t miss a sci-fi movie may also be included in this group depending on whether they accept the mild to moderate conflicts and the somewhat realistic message the film presents. As for the production, it’s very good with fine directing, computer graphics and visuals that amaze. It’s the story that takes a hit leaving audiences with a feeling that it’s a little too contrived, predictable and a bit syrupy in the finale.
Nominated for Best Picture, The Descendants has come to home video. It’s a film that features very good acting, directing and a heartwarming plot. The blu-ray combo pack has double discs a Blu-ray and DVD with a Digital Copy to download. Read more
Watching Ides of March gave me déjà vu thinking of some of the past political campaigns that tanked due to indiscretions. Released during a period of the current US presidential primary, the timing helps the effort. I am not very fond of political films that have an agenda, but this one appeared fair to each side of the aisle. If you like a good drama that has suspense and a reasonable ending than this film should win your praise.
It’s nearing the last few months of the presidential primary with Ohio being the most contested state and the probable nominator. The two opposing candidates Mike Morris (George Clooney) and Senator Pullman are very close in the running and any glitch can be a disaster the race. Confident in his campaign chairman Paul Zara (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and his press secretary Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) Morris feels he has the nomination in the bag. Pullman’s campaign manager Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) doesn’t see it that way and still has a few tricks up his sleeve. When a campaign worker Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood) gets pregnant, a scandal starts to brew.
The Ides of March is an actor’s film and as director George Clooney does a great job of showing off his talent. Putting his actors through their paces he shows the pressure of a presidential primary; the suspense of the behind the scenes deals, raw emotion between political camps and the backstabbing that goes on to win a campaign. If there is a downside, it’s Clooney’s speed to get to the crux of the plot. His haste lessens the chance to connect better with his characters by omitting a lot of the outside influences that create the suspense and action of the campaign pitfalls.
The acting here is extremely good although Clooney really doesn’t have to push the Morris character too much because he normally has an easygoing personality. But it’s Gosling, Giamatti, Wood and Hoffman that really carry the movie anyway. Gosling does a great job as the up and coming press secretary who finds he’s putting out fires more often than not. His character is in the thick of things and Gosling’s up for the task at bringing on the suspense and cunning politics that surround a tight campaign.
Although Giamatti gives a good performance as the opposing camp’s leader, his character is just a walk in the park for him as he’s played that persona often in films. Hoffman’s character has to be many faces and here he plays Morris’s campaign chairman cunningly well while finding himself knee deep in a scandal, overcoming secret meetings by his press secretary and taking control of a potential downslide campaign.
The Ides of March delves deeply into the bowls of dirty campaign politics with payoffs, false promises and indiscretions much like what I’ve gathered from most films of this ilk. In many cases the consequences of the ruthless practices don’t show up till after an election. But it’s entertaining to see a ‘what if’ with The Ides of March certainly laying it all on the line.
The Ides of March is rated R for pervasive language so be cautious when deciding to bring immature youngsters to the showing.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A political chiller that keenly penetrates the campaign underworld. (C+)