Almost everything I’ve read since seeing the new film Out of the Furnacemakes comparisons to The Deer Hunter, which is legitimate. The film takes place in the hardscrabble world of a Pennsylvania steel mill town; the younger brother of the lead character is sent to Iraq, although we’re spared any footage of that deployment; it’s incredibly violent; and yes, there is a scene of deer hunting.
It’s always an annual treat when Cincinnati World Cinema brings in the current Lunafest collection. This long-running series of short films by and about women is an excellent way for budding filmmakers to get noticed, and also do some good in the process. As always, a portion of the proceeds from these showings will go to the national Breast Cancer Fund, and locally, to the Eva G. Farris Education Center in Covington.
Many of the current comic book films are hit or miss with me. I loved The Avengers, even to the point of having it on my ten best list for the year of its release. Unfortunately, the current offering from Marvel Studios, Thor: The Dark World is nowhere near that good. I have not seen the first Thor film, so comparisons aren’t appropriate, but having seen the newest Thor adventure, I’m not particularly eager to catch up with the first one.
It’s seems logical that the big success of the two Hangover films should inspire a similar tale that might be referred to as “the Hangover on Medicare.” That sums up the concept of Last Vegas, in which four lifelong friends meet in Las Vegas for the wedding of one of them and to have the bachelor party of a lifetime. After having seen the rather lackluster trailer a couple of times, I was not necessarily eager to see Last Vegas, but surprise…I really liked it. The cast was terrific, the dialogue funny, and the situations revealed a nice mix of surprises, reconciliations, and warm fuzzies.
If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and witness a train wreck, chances are it was an accident. Hopefully, no one would cause a train to wreck on purpose, causing a big expensive mess. However, if you’re witness to a train wreck of a movie, that has to be the work of lots of people with lots of money at their disposal to execute a misguided vision of what it is they’ve set out to make. Such a cinematic train wreck is The Counselor.