Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Box Office: Prisoners,Thanks For Sharing

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to choosing good movies to watch yourself!

Weekend Box Office: Thanks For Sharing

By Debbie Schlussel

Because of the myriad Jewish holidays, I did not see most of the new movies debuting in theaters today. (I did not see “Prisoners” or “Battle of the Year,” but I will try to see the former later this weekend and post my review afterward.) In fact, I only saw one, “Thanks For Sharing,” and I wish I hadn’t. It’s more like, “No Thanks For Sharing. TMI [Too Much Information].”

Is America hurting from some shortage of sex addiction/masturbation movies? Seems like the pervs in Hollywood must think so, because I’ve seen more than one movie recently involving those topics. This one and “Don Jon,” which will come out in theaters next week, and my review will be posted then.

I wasn’t sure what the point of this movie was . . . other than to provide paychecks for the equally loathsome Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, and Josh Gad, and to give Gwyneth Paltrow the opportunity to strip and show off her flat-chested body in lingerie. Yes, we know–a trainer paid tens of thousands of dollars to spend several hours a day in a gym with Gwyneth works. Thanks for the tip. Paltrow, per usual, is more than just a little bit annoying. She’s mega-annoying.

The story: three men (Ruffalo, Robbins, and Gad) are in different stages of recovery from sex addiction. They were all ordered to attend twelve steps meetings through court orders. Ruffalo has been “over” his sex addiction for five years, Robbins for several (he gave his wife Hepatitis C), and Gad has just started. It follows them as they struggle to avoid sex addiction and build monogamous relationships (Ruffalo with Paltrow, and Gad with someone other than his five fingers). To add to the annoying part, the singer Pink a/k/a Alecia Moore also joins in as a sex addict. We are the world, we are the children, blah, blah, blah.

The movie is not only disgusting, stupid, and completely pointless, but it’s a total waste of ten-plus bucks and nearly two hours of your life you’ll never get back.

Avoid that mistake, and STAY. AWAY. Just awful.


Weekend Box Office 2: Prisoners

By Debbie Schlussel

“Prisoners,” in theaters this weekend, is a well-crafted thriller. While it is very violent–and not suitable for kids (it’s rated “R” for a reason)–the movie is tight and keeps you riveted and on the edge of your seat the whole time. At 2.5 hours, the movie is a little long, but you’re never bored, and there’s little of it that should be cut. It’s a very dark movie–dark and dreary the entire time in cinematics as well as story.

The story: two couples (Hugh Jackman/Maria Bello and Terrence Howard/Viola Davis) are close friends. On Thanksgiving, they have dinner together, but suddenly each couple’s younger daughter is missing. Jackman’s son believes a camper parked in the neighborhood is responsible for the kidnapping. And when the camper is located, the driver, Paul Dano, is mentally slow, and the investigating police detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) does not believe he’s the culprit, after hours of intense questioning. Jackman believes he’s responsible and begins surveilling Dano at the home of his aunt (Melissa Leo), where Dano lives. Soon, after Dano does and says suspicious things, Jackman captures him and subjects him to torture to try to find out where his daughter is.

Telling you more would give away the movie. But it’s incredibly creepy. I had a few reservations. Jackman’s character is a devout Christian, and yet he resorts to torture, something they’d never show Muslims doing, despite the fact that Muslims are more likely to sanction and engage in that kind of behavior. They do it on a regular basis. Jackman’s character is also a hunter, and it appears that Hollywood is trying to show that Christian gun-owners will engage in unnecessary violence when set up in the right circumstances. It’s interesting also that the movie engages in mild racial politics, with the torturer in the in the movie being the White Christian hunter. In contrast, the movie shows the Black man–whose young daughter has also been abducted–as the voice of reason who opposes this sort of violence and torture. The Christian part is explained because it is an element of the plot. However, it wasn’t necessary.

If you can look beyond those momentary parts of the movie, it’s worth seeing and is far better than I expected. I lowered my rating of the movie (from THREE or THREE-AND-A-HALF REAGANS), though, because of those things.

It’s suspenseful, entertaining, well done, and filled with good acting. And I loved the ending, which is pitch perfect.


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