Where is Jesse and Celine now, about 9 years since we last left them in Paris? On a vacation in Greece, they have twin girls together and as far as I could tell they are still in love. It’s not a perfect relationship and is much different than it was in the previous two movies. They shared a life together now and they have their problems, fights and arguments.
I really love this series of films and the glimpses it shows us of the life these couple are leading every few years. These are not movies that everyone would like. If you do not like the main two characters you will probably find this intolerable. This third installment really is the least “romantic” I would say and it focuses on how difficult maintaining a solid longtime relationship can be. I hope we can see more of them 9 or 10 years from now.
For me to enjoy an animated flick these days it really has to be original, different and offer something new. Just being cute, act “smart”, and has some funny lines is not enough. That is why the Lego Movie succeeds. I was so pleasantly surprised when I took the kiddos to see what I assumed would be a throwaway film to sell more toys. What I got was a fun and smart movie with cool animation and engaging twists and turns.
I was looking through Netflix for a movie with the late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman and this popped up. He is not the leading man here but as always, even in the small roles he does a fantastic job and steals every scene. As for this film, well I think it’s a little masterpiece. I’ve seen it years before and I just do not think I appreciated it at the time. It’s well executed and beautifully shot, much like a piece of excellent jazz or a fine opera. It tells the story of Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), the poor young man who by a coincidence of sorts gets to befriend the rich heir Dickie Greenleaf in 1950s Italy where the film is set. Ripley discovers that he loves the lavish lifestyle of this playboy and like a spider (or maybe a chameleon is more apt) starts moving into his life the whole time getting by with a mix of deception, fake geniality and good luck. The story twists and turns as Ripley uses his talent for deception and mimicry to subtly build a lavish life for himself while wrecking everyone else’s.
Jude Law plays Dickey and Gwenyth Paltrow his girlfriend. She initially trusts Tom and then slowly turns against him as her instincts tell her there is something not right with him. Both actors do a great job here as does Damon. It is a movie that jumps across Italy from the south to San Remo, Venice and Rome. The direction is solid, the movie looks amazing and the camera work is masterful. It succeeds in making us at times sorry for Ripley while repulsed and creeped out by him. He is a creature who epitomizes selfishness while showing the world the facade of the sweet down trodden kid from New York.
In P. T. Anderson’s debut feature film we meet an older experienced Reno/Vegas gambler. He walks into a diner and seems to pick a young man in random who is down on his luck. He teaches him the ropes of slick gambling and how to game the casinos, legally. The film then moves forward some time and the two guys are mentor and student. The young man looks up and respects the older man. So, when he gets in some deep doodoo due to a cocktail waitress he calls the only man who might be willing to help. The whole time we are wondering why on earth that sharp old guy, played subtly and perfectly by Philip Baker Hall, is so patient with the bad stupid decisions that the younger man is making. We do get an answer that clears it up, but the strength of this film is in its assured direction and excellent performances form all involved.
It had many funny moments and actually had a lot to say about the state of cable news networks’ overload and their 24 hour coverage of “important events”. The actors are all talented comedians and do a great job of delivering a good time at the movies.
Chronicles several restaurants from NOMA to Arzak and discusses the stress and hard work that goes into attaining the coveted *** from Michelin as well as what it means to a restaurant if attained. It also cuts to interviews with Jean-Luc Naret the Directeur Général of the Michelin Guide and he tells us mostly what does NOT matter to Michelin. White table cloths? Nope. Fancy setting and silverware? Nope. According to him it’s all about the food and how it’s served. It’s an ok film but does not add much to anything really and we don’t learn much about Michelin by the end of the film than we did in the beginning.
It’s fine I suppose. Looks good, happy ending, a few sweet Disney songs. I just do not care.
I believe the initial intention of this documentary was to chronicle how the Siegel family (filthy rich timeshare tycoon Dave Siegel and his wife Jaqueline) were building the largest single family home in the US, modeled after Versailles no less. Not particularly interesting so far. However, 2008 happened and the market crashed. All of a sudden the documentary became about the struggle of these people to maintain a certain lifestyle while their business is in deep trouble and the banks are threatening foreclosure. That coupled with Jaqueline’s oblivious nature as she manages her daily life and her 7 kids as if very little has changed makes for a very interesting documentary.