It’s quite easy to be a fan of John Turturro, the actor. He’s turned in a wide range of quality performances since 1980. Most notable on his resume are three films with the Coen Brothers, Miller's Crossing, O Brother Where Art Thou, and Barton Fink, four with Spike Lee including his terrific Do the Right Thing, and even stepping up to the high-tech action genre with a recurring role in three of the Transformer films.
Movies have always had a love affair with Paris going way back when most films were shot in a studio, to the Oscar-winning An American in Paris with Gene Kelly singing and dancing all over the place to Gershwin’s music, to the more recent Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s love letter to the great city.
There’s a new film out now in which Paris once again is a character. It’s titled Le Week-End and despite the French title and Parisian locales, it’s in English. In Le Week-End, two Brits who have fond memories of the town in which they once honeymooned, decide that a return visit may help recapture what they’ve been losing over the years as their marriage cracks and strains.
I recall the first Captain America film from a couple of years ago being an exciting, well-done action film based on the legendary comic book character. Now comes Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which our hero, whom we last saw during World War II, emerges from his cryogenic sleep in the 21st century. Naturally, there needs to be a catastrophic crisis from which the Captain must save the world. Yes, the plot is that simple, but it’s all the other ingredients in this second outing that makes Captain America: The Winter Soldier such a spectacular thrill ride.
After last year’s Moonrise Kingdom, I wasn’t sure if Wes Anderson could top, or even equal, himself with his next movie. He has. The Grand Budapest Hotelis a shaggy dog story, or in this case, a shaggy hotel story, set in a fictitious European country between the two world wars and into the years of communism.
I’m guessing that, in the course of your movie-watching career, you have found yourself in the position of choosing a film even though it sounds totally illogical, perhaps even stupid, but yet turns out to be well done and incredibly entertaining. Such is the case with 3 Days to Kill. In some ways, it’s the typical action flick, but at the same time the atypical action flick.