Lincoln: Sitting through Spielberg’s latest film brought me back to my days at Nazareth Academy – sitting in Mr. Jaglin’s History class, shooting spit balls over at Tim Allison. While this film is an amazing accomplishment from a historical point of view, I did not find it all that entertaining. Daniel Day Lewis does a phenomenal job as old Abe, he will no doubt receive his 5th Oscar nomination for this performance.He is not the only star in this film either. In fact every role seemed to have a big name behind it. Sally Fields shined as his wife Mary Todd.Tommy Lee Jones meanwhile knocks it out of the park as Representative Thaddeus Stevens.I felt his performance was on par with that of DDLs and his character is just as important to the story.David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, and John Hawkes are all wonderful in their small roles as well. The story is not that of Lincoln’s life, but of the 3 weeks leading up to the passing of the 13th amendment to abolish slavery. Much of the drama takes place inside the House of Representatives as they argue over the amendment. The film’s biggest fault is that is does not take us out of the Washington gridlock to show us the current state of the Union and the impact the amendment will have. While I enjoyed the history refresher I cannot say this is one of the best movies of the year. I would actually say skip it in the theater and see it on DVD some lazy Sunday.
Rythemovieguy's Grade: 2.75 Jaws / B-
If this movie had parents they would be: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter & Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Flight: Denzel Washington gives a very emotional performance in the first live action film in 12 years from director Robert Zemeckis.Denzel Plays Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot with a drinking problem. When his plane malfunctions during flight he miraculously saves the plane and most everyone on board with a rough crash landing. However before he can be proclaimed a hero an investigation on the crash is conducted. This could turn the spotlight from heroism to his drug and drinking problems. The story is really about substance abuse and the challenges a person must overcome to deal with it. How many lies can the conscious take? Washington’s performance as the troubled soul is extremely strong. The ending of the film is emotionally powerful mainly because of Denzel’s acting. And Speaking of acting – Don Cheadle is great here as the lawyer defending Denzel during the investigation. Also John Goodman pops up as his drug buddy.He only has 2 scenes in the film, but both had the audience rolling with laughter. Meanwhile Zemeckis gives us another memorable movie plane crash (who could forget the scary scene with Tom Hanks in Cast Away). I appreciated the fresh take on substance abuse, the idea of a man under the influence still being heroic at times made for an interesting plot. Don’t wait to see this one on a plane...
Rythemovieguy's Grade: 3.5 Jaws / B+
If this movie had parents they would be: Leaving Las Vegas & Airplane
The Sessions: John Hawkes and Helen Hunt star in the true story of Mark O’Brien, a man who lost the ability to control his body muscles due to polio. He was basically paralyzed from the neck down, however he did still have feeling throughout his entire body. Most of the day he lived in an iron lung which helped him to breathe, only being able to stay out on his own for 3 hours a day. At age 36 he meets a sex surrogate and loses his virginity. The Sex Surrogate is played by Helen Hunt, who at age 49 courageously bares it all a couple of times on screen. John Hawkes meanwhile pours in a tremendous performance as Mark O’Brien, he basically has to convey all his feelings with just his facial expressions because for most of the movie he is laying on a bed under covers . I would be shocked if he does not get an Oscar nomination for this. Although the subject matter is on the sad side, the movie has plenty of humor. Some of the funniest scenes involve William H Macy who plays a priest that Mark confides all his sexual experience too. The chemistry between Hunt and Hawkes brings some heavy emotion to the story – see this one for the performances alone!
Rythemovieguy's Grade: 3 Jaws / B
If this movie had parents they would be: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly & American Pie