Last week's big On Demand release was the controversial Zero Dark Thirty, which found itself in the middle of the debate about "enhanced interrogation techniques." This week's is the controversial Lincoln, which found itself in the middle of a debate about its accuracy, and about the way its story sidelined the African Americans it was ostensibly about to tell yet another story about a white messiah.
My pros and cons about the movie have nothing to do with these issues; I am not a historical scholar, nor did I read Team of Rivals (the Doris Kearns Goodwin book on which the film is loosely based). The pros: Daniel Day-Lewis's performance in the title role, which joins his Daniel Plainview and Bill the Butcher to make a hat trick of classic American historical characters; the bevy of beloved character actors who dot the film that will have you yelling, "What the hell, HIM TOO?" in just about every other scene; the delightfully baroque insults politicians hurl at each other in the halls of power. The cons: Tommy Lee Jones's ratty wig; the oppressively dim lighting; the comically long running time. On balance, it's worth seeing — but maybe break up your viewing with a nap or two.
In the two weeks since our last post, a glut of trailers flooded the Internet, some good, some bad, some in between. So in an effort to be as thorough as possible and dedicate at least a few words to these cinematic appetizers, we reached way back into our arsenal of gimmicks to bring back the “One-Sentence Trailer Reviews.” Like last time, one of us had an easier time sticking to the plan than the other. (Guess who?)
Rembert and Dan
Now You See Me (June 7)
Silver: I had no idea Now You See Me existed, but after watching the trailer for this Prestige/Ocean’s Eleven/Robin Hood/Social Network/Batman Begins mash-up, it has quickly jumped to the top of my 2013 “must” list.
Browne: The only item on my "things that really don't exist" list that tops zombies and owls is magic. NEXT.
Silver: Stories about struggles of enduring love have been so thoroughly explored in both comedic and dramatic films that sitting through one is more comforting in its familiarity than it is challenging. What you don’t see a lot of, and it’s the reason why I’m excited for Smashed, are stories about late 20s, early 30s couples who are dealing with not only the loss of youth, but the overwhelming pressures of real life. It’s the grayish middle between "Zac Efron prom date gone awry" and "Meryl Streep dancing with Tommy Lee Jones on a beach." And it's harder to truthfully capture on film because a couple, much less a married couple, in their late 20s or early 30s are in a constant state of transition. And much like Celeste and Jesse Forever dealt with a young couple’s divorce, Smashed ups the drama by throwing in some “real-life shit” like the combined act of getting sober. So even if Smashed didn’t star two of my biggest crushes — Ramona Flowers ... err ... Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron “Bitch” Paul — based on all this I know it’s a film I’d still want to see.