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I’m confused. This movie has received a ton of award buzz, particularly for the lead acting performance of Oscar favorite Bruce Dern and the breakout dramatic performance of SNL alum Will Forte. Suffice it to say, the bar was set high. To say the movie failed to live up to expectations is an understatement.
Frankly, this is one of those movie reviews where the space would be better filled by giving you my savory beef stew recipe than actually discussing the film. I mean, I could tell you that halfway through the movie, pigmies run in and jab the audience with pointy sticks. But if you’re going to see it, you’re going to see it. On the flip side, I could tell you that going to see this movie is like watching Pretty Woman, sitting next to George Clooney, while getting a foot massage, eating Champagne truffles on Prozac. But if you don’t want to see it, you’re not going to see it.
If all you really wanted for Christmas was a movie you could go to without contemplating asking for your money back, Hollywood may be able to help…finally. Here’s what coming in December:
Mary and Oscar Cruz
The work of legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith Head can be seen in classic movies such as Roman Holiday, To Catch A Thief and Funny Face, work by the likes of Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and others. With more than eight Academy Awards and 35 nominations under her belt, it’s no wonder Head inspired actress, writer and artistic director Susan Claassen to pen a one-woman play in her honor. In December, Claassen will bring A Conversation With Edith Head to St. Louis. Claassen spoke with Ladue News about creating the show and what it’s like to portray the great Ms. Head.
It seems a lot of people had very high hopes for this film. Critics certainly predicted it would have a presence come awards season. Matthew McConaughey definitely had big ambitions as he continues to chase the ever-elusive Oscar predicted for him so many years ago. Most important, audiences had the bar set high in anticipation of a thought-provoking, touching and beautifully acted film. All I can say is, don’t shoot the messenger.
If you need a break from your Oscar checklist, or simply prefer to watch some of the early contenders from the comfort of your couch, here are the latest releases on DVD (and most popular downloads). It’s a good week for action fans. For your convenience, I’ve divided them into two categories: Worth a Watch and Must Miss.
Choosing music for your wedding should be one of the planning stage’s more enjoyable decisions, and it should be done together as a couple. While selecting music to celebrate your big day can be overwhelming (like everything else about the wedding), it can be simplified if you separate the decisions into ‘categories.’ There is appropriate music for religious ceremonies, as well as secular and ethnic weddings.
One can’t help but immediately be struck by the striking similarity between this film and another Oscar contender, Gravity. Neither is a plot-driven film, and both feature a lone character fighting for survival against a powerful force of nature. Instead of Sandra Bullock’s frenetic stream-of-consciousness chatter, here we have Robert Redford’s stoic sailor. For those of you who have thought through the years that Redford is so spectacularly attractive you could just watch him for two hours, here’s your chance.
Here’s the thing: Is it possible to dislike this movie? Surely, one can loathe slavery, inhumanity and evil, and not particularly like a film about it. This movie tells an unfathomably horrible true story about the abduction and enslavement of a free black man in mid-19th century America. It’s painful to watch—often because of the subject matter and occasionally because of some awkward film-making and direction that doesn't seem to trust the power of the story itself.
Four Muny premieres are in the lineup for the 2014 season—The Muny’s 96th summer at Forest Park! New season tickets will be available beginning March 8; single tickets go on sale May 31. The upcoming shows are...
Here’s the thing: This movie has a brilliant screenwriter: Cormac McCarthy is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and is, without question, one of the country’s greatest living writers. He may very well be too talented for film. His use of metaphor and symbolism often replace the plot thread and his flowery (and exceptionally beautiful) prose are a challenge for any actor to own. So, sadly, what we have here is an A-list cast, director and screenwriter, and a B- movie.
It seems Oscar is taking a nap this week, so it might be a good time to hit the couch with a good download. Here are the new releases and top rentals:
The eleventh month is also the eleventh hour for award consideration. While one would think an Oscar-caliber movie would stay with a viewer, contenders seem to want their film fresh in voters’ minds. So with a few brain breaks for popcorn premieres November should prove to be a heady cinematic month.
What’s being billed as a ‘play-and-stay creative café' is coming to St. Louis: The Nest aims to be the area’s first modern-day community center, restaurant and membership club for children and their families. Conceived by local event planner Christina McHugh, The Nest in Frontenac will offer daily breakfast, lunch, high-tea service and play areas, as well as drop-in childcare, family-friendly activities, membership programs and private events. A special preview will be held Sunday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its Frontenac location at 10440 German Blvd. in the old Calico’s building.
Story: Four candidates for the 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen, meet at the military school in Tuskegee, Alabama where they train to become fighter pilots during World War II. These candidates, though, are black, and the challenge to earn their stripes in flight school is exacerbated with racism, both blatant and subtle, throughout their training.
A 4-bedroom, 4-full and 3-half bath ranch in Town and Country is listed for 1.885 million
I hate setting the bar too high with a film like this, because one of the things that can really blow you away is the unexpected. Considering the huge amount of pre-release press and Oscar buzz, I knew surprisingly little about this film. I will try to extend the same courtesy.
OK, let’s not waste too much of anyone’s time with this. The film already took 90 minutes of mine that I’ll never get back. I want to make one thing very clear: I am not opposed to the occasional eye-candy-movie. Yes, it’s Oscar season. Yes, we have the right to deserve some sort of effort. Yes, filmmaking is an art. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with watching scantily clad people running in slow motion on a beach every once in a while. My overly drawn-out point is this: I didn’t hate this movie because it’s eye candy. If anything, I disliked it more because it wasn’t eye candy. When all you have to offer is good-looking stars, let the slow motion games begin.
Statement Necklace (vertical rows top to bottom, left to right)
$5,325, Elleard Heffern
Oscar de la Renta, $690, Neiman Marcus
Alexis Bittar, $595, Neiman Marcus
Tasha, $38, Nordstrom
$3,275, Elleard Heffern
Armenia, $TK, Ylang-Ylang
Prisoners is a suspense thriller—completely my cup of tea. However, it is a child-abduction suspense thriller, and that’s where I cringe. Nevertheless, this is a gripping, if forced and slightly ham-handed, exploration of the extremes a parent might go to in order to find a missing child.
With the early horses out of the gate and a smattering of expected disappointments out of the way, it’s time to get serious--awards-show serious. Here’s what to look forward to in October.
Well, this is unusual. Here we have a movie helmed by a group of actors who spend their free time dusting their Oscars. The movie has a tested director, an intriguing, if well-worn premise, and virtually no competition at the box office. What would it take to make this worth a rainy day jaunt to the Cineplex? Whatever it is, this movie doesn’t have it. In fact there is only one word I can think of to describe it: unredeemable.