Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Wow. That’s the first reaction that I had after watching J.A. Bayona’s riveting film, The Impossible. It’s the based-on-a-real-life story about a family ripped apart by the horrible 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that rocked countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and India, leaving over an estimated 230,000 people dead. It was and is one of the most tragic and devastating natural disasters in recorded human history.
But this massive disaster story is not given Hollywood blockbuster treatment, a la Armageddon or Twister. Instead The Impossible is deeply personal and relatable, using the tsunami and its wake to tell a gripping tale of love, family, empathy and the human spirit.
Yes, this horrific catastrophe exposed a great deal of hope. In the midst of such tragedy, goodness shines brighter than ever before.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Matt Damon re-teams with his Good Will Hunting director, Gus Van Sant, to bring us Promised Land, a movie that will leave you saying, what the frack?
“Fracking” that is. If you haven’t heard of the term, it is short for a process called “hydraulic fracturing,” a drilling technique used to release petroleum and/or natural gas from below the Earth’s surface. It is a current hot-button political topic with supposed benefits (there is a wealth of gas under American soil that could lead us to energy independence), and supposed dangers (chemicals used in the process can taint ground water, harm nature and us humans and just be plain bad for the environment).
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
After a long, very successful career in television, The Sopranos creator David Chase has finally arrived as a feature-film director. It’s what he’s always wanted to do, you know, after having that brief 30+ year detour on the small screen. He will forever be known as the head of The Sopranos, but he has also worked as a producer/writer for various programs such as The Rockford Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Northern Exposure and I’ll Fly Away, to name a few.
With his first film, Not Fade Away, his exuberance for filmmaking is palpable in the first 30 minutes. Bursting onto the big screen, Chase gives us his slightly quirky visual style that fans of The Sopranos should recognize, infused with dark humor and insights on family life that we would come to expect.
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