Entries tagged with “Robert Duvall”.

I am afraid that am developing a slight phobia for post-apocalyptic films genre, and The Road directed by John Hillcoat pushed me one step ahead down this hill. Some of the movies that belong to this category are mostly action movies, while a few try to be different. Most of them are pessimistic about the short term chances of mankind but entertain a ray of hope on long term, of course after we have learned the lesson. Many of them try to provide dire warnings about what we do with our planet and with ourselves. Cinematography participates in creating the warning tones with rendition of how the deserted landscapes and destroyed cities of the planet will look the day after. Bible names and quotes are widely used. ‘The Road’ is a little bit of all these while trying to be more. While I appreciate the effort I did not enjoy the results of this try.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898367/


About ten years after the Apocalypse what is left of mankind seems to be the only surviving species on Earth in the film inspired by a book by Cormac McCarthy. Neither did any vegetation survived, so looking for canned food (do not ask about the expiration date) seems to be the only alternative for the good guys other than the cannibalism adopted by the bad guys. A father and a son try to find their way to the ocean in order to survive another winter.  I will not tell much more, and one of the reasons is that much more does not happen, at least action-wise.


(video source MOVIECLIPS Classic Trailers)


Sure, this is not meant to be an action film. Much of the intended value should be in the post-apocalyptic landscape (good camera work in more than 50 shades of real gray) and in the building of the characters. This is where in my opinion the film fails. Avoiding to romanticize is fine with me, but I cannot say that I knew much more at the end of the film than I knew after the first five minutes.  of ‘Lord of the Rings’ fame and the kid actor do both a fine job. and add their names to the credits but their fans will be disappointed about how little time they spend on screen. The film is not only dark but is also dull, seemed to me much longer than it really was and the ending – because any film has an ending – could not avoid the melodrama that the director tried to avoid in the making. I would recommend this film only to the post-apocalyptic genre aficionados.


It’s good to be Tom Cruise. Famous, rich, with an impressive list of impressive ex-es, and even gone through a high profile divorce. After having gone through all major role that make a bright career Tom Cruise can afford now to invest and become a producer. He can take a book by Lee Child and make the action film he wants out of it.  He can take the role a 6 feet 5 inches hero and tailor himself in it. He can afford beautiful and talented Rosamund Pike as a partner, and Robert Duvall and director Werner Herzog in the the veteran good guy and villain roles. And the result is pretty acceptable.


sursa http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790724/

sursa http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790724/


So, who is Jack Reacher? Ex-army investigator, a man hard to discover and trace to the point that some doubt he exists. A man dedicated to finding the truth to the extent that he is ready and willing to sacrifice anything to make justice. A man capable at any moment to fist-fight five tough guys, to put three bullets in the center of the target from any distance, to destroy the heavily arm need of armed bad guys. In other words – a super-hero.


(video source JoBlo Movie Trailers)


No need to tell too much about the story. It’s about an apparent clear cut case of mass killing in an American city that proves to be something very different that what you and everybody else in or out the film think excepting Jack Reacher, of course.  Viewers get another well done action film, Tom Cruise does his job as an actor as we expect, Duvall and Herzog have fun and so do we as viewers.   Christopher McQuarrie is a rather inexperienced director, this was only his second film, but producer and actor and superhero Tom Cruise trusted him with the new film in the ‘Mission Impossible’ series, so he must have been satisfied. So are we, if we look for good quality action entertainment from Hollywood.



The Judge is a rather classical combination of family drama and court drama, enjoying a couple of fine actors in lead roles that will land them some place in or close to the area of the Academy Awards candidacies. It’s solid but rather conventional cinematography, and as I understand the first output of a new production enterprise where Robert Downey Jr. is placing some of the money earned by the best-paid actor in Hollywood today. As a capitalist Mr. Downey Jr. seems to like conservative, low risk investment.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1872194/?ref_=nv_sr_1

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1872194/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Hank Palmer (Downey) is a successful and filthy lawyer who helps people rich enough to pay him to get away in the American courts of law even if they are obviously guilty. When his mother dies he returns for what should be a one or two days unwanted family reunion in the mid-west city of birth too small for his ambitions. As much as he dislikes the trip he is also rather disliked by a quite non-functional family run by a tyrannical father (Robert Duvall) who is also the judge practically running the place, a man admired by half of the town (the good one?) and hated by the other half (the bad one?). When his father is accused of murder Hank will find himself defending him for once with truth and justice as goals, while all the past he was running of for the last two decades risks to overwhelm him.


(video source MOVIECLIPS Trailers)


The relation between father and son is enhanced by the intense acting of Downey Jr. and Duvall which may both compete for the Academy Awards a few months from now. Director David Dobkin seems to have previously dealt with comedies only, The Judge being his first exploration of a ‘serious’ thematic. He make a few mistakes on the road – the film is too long, and the treatment of the subject too heavy and conventional to my taste. It’s not bad cinema, it is just so expected. I hope that better contenders will show up on the road to the Awards between now and February 22, 2015, the date of the ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, LA.

There is a strong feeling of deja vu planning on the viewers of We Own the Night (the slogan of the NYPD in the 80s, while fighting for the control of the streets of the Big Apple at night). The story and the characters are pretty much borrowed from similar movies where brothers or childhood friends find themselves on opposed parts of the cops vs. mafia game. The atmosphere and characters are very much similar to other stories about the New York gangs or police academies. The combination of family drama and Mafia intrigue is also a classical theme.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0498399/


So the story of the film looks very much like an 80s story. The problem is that it does not only refer to the 80s but it also feels like a film from the 80s. This may have been in part intentional, a decision by director James Gray that I respect, as it provides an air of authenticity to the way the streets, the clubs, the police stations are being brought to life. Some of the acting also fits into the same vision, as Robert Duvall as the head of the policemen dynasty is an actor who comes to us from the 80s, and Mark Wahlberg fits well in the patern, as well as the Israeli Moni Moshonov distributed as a Russian padrone. The out of pattern acts are those of Joaquin Phoenix, a huge actor who hardly can fit in any pattern and of the very sexy Eva Mendes who plays his girlfriend.


(video source MoviemanTrailers)


Worth seeing? Maybe, if you really are interested in another family drama mixed with gangsters vs. cops intrigues which does not really raise to the level of Scorsese, and if you like films from the 80s. But, wait a moment, if you really like films from the 80s why not renting or looking for one of the real stuff on the cable movie channels?