Time Killers will know that I’ve been psyched/scared about Ridley Scott adapting The Martian (opening Friday) for months. The Martian is one of the best books I’ve read in recent years, and I’ve been fairly vocal that I think Ridley has lost it. I’m thrilled by the advance reviews, though and I can’t wait to see it. When he’s on, Ridley is on par with any director in Hollywood. Most people consider his best film to be Alien, and I might agree, but you could make a strong argument for 2001’s Black Hawk Down.
If you’ve never read Mark Bowden’s harrowing account of a mission to take out a warlord in Sudan gone horribly wrong, I could not recommend it more. Ridley perfectly captured the claustrophobic charnel house that Mogadishu turned into for these soldiers. The cast is stellar, the cinematography is the best in any Scott film and why it was overlooked for more critical acclaim is a complete mystery to me. This is a perfect film, and one of the best war movies ever made. If Scott can bring this sort of game to The Martian, man, we’re in for a treat.
If you like Matthew McConaughey, Mud is the best thing that is ever going to happen to you. At no time in his film career has McConaughey been so McConaughey as he is in Mud. It is….maximum McConaughey.
Mud is the story of two best friends in the SOUTH (we’ll put that all in caps because one of the two is named “Neck Bone” so we’re damn SOUTH) who run across a boat stuck in a tree by a hurricane and a bundle of McConaughey living in it. The boys strike up a friendship of sorts with the wanderer who is not what he seems. Mud is less about the titular character than it is Ellis (played by Tye Sheridan who carries the whole film). Ellis is losing his family, his home on the river and at 14 sits poised on that awkward cusp between childhood and adolescence. He latches on to Mud because he needs something to believe in, and given that Mud is a wanted murderer, that belief becomes a very dangerous thing.
The main criticism I can level against Mud is that the pacing of the movie is about as fast as the title. It is a looooong two hours and ten minutes of movie. The cast is great, when things finally get moving the story is gripping, but the journey to get there is at times extremely trying.
Since there was plenty of time to think as the boys kept motoring across the Mississippi to Mud’s island and back, I kept thinking that I have no problem believing this IS how Matthew McConaughey actually lives. That his part was just filmed by documentary crew outside his tree/boat house he lives in between films where he has to shower. I mean, what screams McConaughey more to you? This:
You know I’m right. Mud is a good rental if you have the patience for it. Good performances (especially by Tye Sheridan) and, like I said, whole lot of maximized McConaughey (that is really difficult to type over and over…I’m programming a macro).
This one just popped up on my radar. The trailer’s been out for a while and I knew Christian Bale was in it, but I had no idea how strong the supporting cast was. Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepherd, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker and Willem DaFoe among others. Official plot synopsis below, Out of the Furnace opens December 6, 2013.
Russell and his younger brother Rodney live in the economically-depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother is lured into one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast – a mistake that will almost cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother.