At The Movies This Week, 4th January 2013
At The Movies
The Impossible ★★★★
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Cast: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast
“The Impossible” is based on a true story. This is the story of about a family caught in the chaos of one of the worst natural disasters of our time. Based on real-life Spanish family the Belons, the decision to cast English-language actors seems more commercially driven. The change
accommodates well though as Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor pull off some incredibly emotional scenes.
Within the first ten minutes of the film introducing us to the main characters, the tsunami hits early and packs an unbelievable punch.
It’s a heart-warming story of human endurance, and overcoming almost impossible odds. Holland and Watts dominate most of the film though, and is so gut-wrenching and brilliant that when McGregor and his story enter the screen, it pales by comparison. Bayona builds a very satisfying close, at the same time acknowledging that the struggles are far from over for the survivors of the Tsunami. With brilliant effects and superb acting, this will have your heart pounding and breaking. “The Impossible” is one of those films that will stick with you.
Jack Reacher ★★★
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins
An investigator digs into a case involving a military sniper who shot five people at random. The sniper issues a demand: “Get Jack Reacher.” Reacher (Tom Cruise) must find out the truth before time runs out.
The idea of adapting a novel can be daunting especially when the novel’s been read by so many people. Jack Reacher has enough fans from the author Lee Child’s seventeen novels that it was only really a matter of time before he made his way to the big screen. Many fans of the novels that have shown their discontent on the internet may have already written this movie off due to the physical differences between Tom Cruise and Jack Reacher as described in Child’s books.
The film has a real 1970’s feel to it that is along the lines of Walking Tall mixed with Dirty Harry. It starts with a particularly scary opening sequence but also has a lot of lovely light touches – the car chase sequence in particular uses Pittsburgh in a very similar way to last year’s hit film, “Drive”.
Audiences will be treated to a plot that, from what is a ruthless and shocking opening sequence, will constantly surprise its audience all the way through to a reasonably sufficient ending. “Reacher” is violent and witty with enough thrills that makes up for the unnecessary screen time.
Parental Guidance ★★
Director: Andy Fickman
Cast: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei
Artie (Billy Crystal) and his wife, Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandchildren when their parents go away for work. But problems arise when their old school methods collide with the behaviour of the children who have been brought up in the new age.
What separates this comedy from other babysitting capers is the clash between old school parenting and new methods of child nurturing. Artie and Diane are out of their depth in a less brave new world and a house that is fully computerised.
It’s good to see Billy Crystal and Bette Midler back on the big screen and doing what they do so well. The cheeky banter between them is funny at times. It’s a great family film and one that can be watched again and again and will most likely end up on television around the holiday season quite a few times. There are some funny moments that everyone in the family will appreciate and the acting is spot on. There are poo gags too. Which young children may find a hoot, but grown-ups might feel a bit left out.
Even though it’s a bit predictable, it’s a film worth watching for the heart-warming scenes.
Director: Dustin Hoffman
Cast: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connelly.
Dustin Hoffman’s directing debut “Quartet” takes place in a retirement home for musicians and opera singers. With great British actors such as Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtnay and Pauline Collins who all get the chance to have some screen time in this light-hearted comedy.
Hoffman proves to be a very capable director, too, giving his cast enough room to have fun with the script and it shows how much fun the cast are having making this film. The cast will help draw in the target audience, but the film lacks any of the charm that will keep younger viewers interested.