Punch-Drunk Love isn’t one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s greatest work, yet it’s still a lovely film nevertheless, what was most impressive then and now is seeing that Adam Sandler can turn in a well done, dramatic performance and paired with the exquisite Emily Watson makes for a poignant little romance-drama.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is a letdown mostly because it shows why the final chapter didn’t need to be split into two with extraneous scenes that weren’t necessary in telling the story. On the plus side, the performances for the most part were strong especially from Jennifer Lawrence and the production design, as it was with Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1, was impressive.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 had a lot of potential especially comig after the well received, and all around well made, Catching Fire. What we got instead is what felt like the middle installment of a trilogy that had a thin story and characters who really didn’t develop that much.
Overall, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is heads and shoulders above the first movie which in itself was entertaining. This is a strong and tighter film in terms of story. The UHD release by Lionsgate is more or less the same as its predecessor: a nice 4K video transfer but not quite amazing or worthy of an upgrade.
Flawless isn’t fantastic with an overwrought crime plotline but makes up for it with two fine performances by Robert De Niro and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman who play well off against one another. Still, it’s not an entirely memorable drama and rightfully fell to the wayside compared to each of the actor’s filmography.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 had a lot of potential especially comig after the well received, and all around well made, Catching Fire. What we got instead is what felt like the middle installment of a trilogy that had a thin story and characters who really didn’t develop that much (though at least Lawrence’s Katniss does make a bit of progress) and is merely there to bridge one movie to another. This is a case where splitting two movies was a mistake and I think it would’ve made for a solid final entry.
A Most Wanted Man isn’t as great of a movie that I’m sure the filmmakers felt it was but, however, it does excel mostly on the shoulders of the late (and great) Phillip Seymour Hoffman along with an commendable supporting cast including Rachel McAdams and Robin Wright, the latter who was underutilized.
The Talented Mr. Ripley isn’t the perfect suspense-drama and could have been so much better with a cast consisting of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett and with Anthony Minghella at the helm, but it still has some superb moments. The Blu-ray released by Warner Bros. offers all the features from the DVD version and respectable audio/video transfers.
A Late Quartet is the surprise gem of 2012 featuring four great performances, one of which from Walken deserving of more recognition, and a story which is rich with great drama, even when certain scenes get on the melodramatic side. Co-Writer/Director Yaron Zilberman delivers a great drama that hopefully will get more notice over the years.
Moneyball is a good film propelled by great performances especially from Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’m not much of a baseball fan, but the story of Billy Beane and what he did for an organization and the system certainly makes for an interesting and compelling story.
This Mission: Impossible “Extreme Blu-ray Trilogy” is hardly extreme and in fact is underwhelming. Each of the discs is merely repackaged with the same features and for the third film, actually removed a second disc full of features. The audio and video transfers are alright but could’ve been better, although the third film does fare the best.
Jack Goes Boating might be worth checking out for the performances and while Hoffman’s direction isn’t too bad, the story had much to be desired and probably could’ve used another rewrite (with a new writer). If you’re a fan of Hoffman’s work then maybe it’d be worth a rental otherwise I think you can skip this character drama.
If you’re a fan of British humor you might enjoy this film, but otherwise I’d say just skip it. It only managed to get a few small chuckles out of me, and a few days later I could barely remember what was going on in the film and who plays who.