Posts Tagged ‘movie reviews’

“Mud” Updates Mark Twain Very Well

May 6, 2013

A good story, bolstered by first-rate acting and directing, can still give low-budget movies a good chance to make a neat profit and give mentally adult people a reason to go to the movies.  “Mud” is, in my view, one of those very special movies.

Like Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer,” and “Huckleberry Finn,” which inspired writer-director Jeff Nichols, “Mud” is a coming-of-age story about two boys learning about the pains and joys of  love and life, with the Mississippi River serving as the backdrop. Twain wrote his tales in the late 19th Century. “Mud” is contemporary. 

Matthew McConaughey, as Mud, who hides on an island in the river because he is wanted for murder, turns in an excellent  performance.   Tye Sheridan,  and  Jacob Lofland, as the two young teen-age boys who try to help him, and Reese Witherspoon, as the woman he tries to reunite with, match McConaughey’s performance, with Sheridan standing out as the central character.

We saw it a the Ritz 13, which was doing really big business Sunday afternoon.  “Mud” had a respectable turn-out, with adults out-numbering teenagers by a large margin.  The reason, thoiugh, was that the parking lot was packed because “Iron Man III” was playing on six screens.  I can guarantee you the teenagers were not outnumbered in those theaters.  I plan to see it, too. You know, young at heart and all that.  

Columbus Audience Applauds Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln

November 18, 2012

   We are fortunate indeed to have someone like Steven Spielberg who will use his extraordinary talent and Hollywood clout to produce truly important movies, evergreens like Saving Private Ryan,  Schindler’s List, and, now, Lincoln. Lincoln is basically about our 16th president’s challenges in getting Congress to approve the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the one that ended slavery in the United States. It is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning  biography Team of Rivals.

It’s not often that an audience will applaud a movie.  After all, the actors and others responsible for the film can’t hear the applause. It happened when Lincoln ended at the showing I attended. I could understand why.  It was that good.  I was quite moved by it, and I won’t be surprised if Daniel Day-Lewis gets an Oscar nomination for his performance as the American president who is usually rated by most historians as the second most important United States president.  George Washington usually gets the nod for number one and Franklin D. Roosevelt for number three.

   It is hard to watch the movie and not reflect that only 147 years ago our country allowed the slavery of African-Americans, and now we have just reelected an African-American President.   

I definitely recommend both Lincoln and Team of Rivals.