Monday, March 3, 2014

DVD Roundup - All Is Lost, The Spectacular Now, The Hunt

Starring Robert Redford. Directed by J.C. Chandor.

This bare-bones tale of survival never gets dull, even with very little dialogue and only one actor. Redford could be playing himself, but in this stripped down atmosphere, he's good enough. He's a man at sea when his boat springs a leak. For the next 80 minutes, it's just him trying to survive, trying to find a way to get another boat's attention before his own sinks.


Starring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Directed by James Ponsoldt.

It's one of those high school movies that actually has a brain and heart behind what it's doing. It's about a popular but listless bad boy named Sutter (Miles Teller), who falls for an unconventional nice girl (Shailene Woodley) who starts to be the better influence on him than he is a bad influence on her.


THE HUNT (★★½)
Starring Mads Mikkelsen. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg.

This was a difficult movie to sit through, to the point that my wife quit watching and when I told her the rest of the movie, she said she has no regrets. This Danish film is about a good guy who volunteers at the kindergarten who is then accused of molesting one of the kids. We know right off the bat he is innocent, and so the increased tension from his home-town who start to view him as a monster... well, it's excruciating. Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, NBC's Hannibal) is very good as the wronged man, and it seems intended to remind of the cases of the McMartins, Friedmans, or West Memphis Three, where a Salem-esque hysteria surrounded the accused. It gets a little too manipulative in this vein, but Mikkelsen saves it.

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