Most of us go to the movies to escape, seeking solitude from the cacophony of daily, droning ceaseless obligations; to be entranced, entertained; the darkened theatre smothers the minutiae, petty, pointless details that cloud our perspective, and we exit realizing our intellect has been purified, vacuumed of the insignificant; only thoughts of value left behind. Movies can be cathartic, therapeutic, thought-inspiring and fun. Here a few that please and appease:
Bradley Cooper is Eddie Morra a writer suffering a creative block of Herculean proportions, living a slothful existence, dumped by his successful girlfriend Lindy (pleasantly played by Abbie Cornish); he fortuitously encounters an ex brother-in-law who gives him a pill that enables him to surge into world of limitless, meteoric knowledge. Godlike, omnipresent, all-encompassing intelligence: languages, finance, musical aptitude, hedonistic delights encompassed in what was a shallow, greedy, superficial, but handsomely molded vessel.
The movie careens frenetically out of orbit; enjoy the ride and savor the multitude of messages: addiction; a 21st century craving for instant technological gratification; a lust for unlimited power and wealth, ultimately sinking, drowning in moral turpitude.
Robert De Niro is Van Loon a Wall Street wizard who interacts with Eddie on his “up” and “down” interludes. Their chemistry results in the most legitimate moments of this tempting and at times tormenting fantasy.
Leaving “Limitless” emerging into a world plagued by the limitless forces of nature; demigods, demons exercising limitless chaos, havoc over their people and neighbors; knowing that limits, boundaries, laws, keep anarchy, Armageddon from plummeting mankind into perpetual, limitless night.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!
THE LINCOLN LAWYER
Matthew McConaughey is perfectly suited and cast as Mick Haller, the somewhat sleazy California lawyer, conducting business from his Lincoln town car. Based on the novel by prolific Michael Connelley ( the film adheres to the content) McConaughey, with a touch of genius, captures the sagacity, shrewdness, tough temperament of “Haller” a lawyer for tattooed, shunned, oftentimes guilty clientele. The remarkable aspect of his performance is his captivating, towering control of the role; even his vulnerability shimmers with security. These attributes encased in a countenance Narcissus would barter for.
Ryan Phillippe as the accused Louis Roulet does justice to the complexities demanded of his character. Marisa Tomei, who gets better with each role, is Maggie McPherson, lawyer, ex wife of Mick and mother of their daughter. William H. Macy excels as the investigator, Frank Levin; his face is a road map, each curve and crevice a testimony to a life well lived.
“The Lincoln Lawyer” , even if you recall the book, satisfies an indolent weekend audience thirsting for mindless, action- packed entertainment; peppered with terrific actors who imbue their roles with prescient insight.
KILL THE IRISHMAN
This is a true but somewhat fictionalized version of Cleveland’s Danny Green (brilliantly depicted by Ray Stevenson, “Rome”, “The Book of Eli”) an Irishman who refused to die at the whim or bombs of the Italian Mafia. This minimally hyped movie should viewed by all fans of the gangster genre. Is it as good as “The Godfather”? No. But holds its own with “Goodfellas”, “Mean Streets”, “Casino”, “Donnie Brasso”.
The action takes place in Cleveland in the 1970’s. The cast is stellar: Stevenson, is Danny a fearless fighter, self-taught philosopher and thinker who plays by his rules alone; Vincent D’Onofrio (“Law and Order:Criminal Intent”) is mesmerizing as John Nardi the Italian who joins forces with Green. A meatier Val Kilmer is Detective Joe Manditski a childhood friend of Danny’s and the chronicler of the story. Christopher Walken, always the chameleon, is Shondor Birns, the loan shark who finds Danny’s fire and spunk reminiscent of his own youthful drive towards the elixir of dominance and clout.
This episode of carnage, destruction dynamited the foundations of the Mafia and changed its facade and future; the Irishman is an icon in the laurels of criminality; his reputation is mystical in Cleveland and throughout the ledgers of gang violence, he is lionized, canonized, revered as a saintly devil!
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!