He’s Got it Going On! (Review of Reviews)

Though I am a critic, not everything I write is critical.

I heard Ty Burr, Movie critic for The Boston Globe, this week on on NPR’s new show, Here and Now. He gave a great review roundup of four holiday movies.

Saving Mr. BanksBelow, I review his reviews, none with spoilers, but chock full of fun quotes, which I present to you.

1. Saving Mr. Banks

Spoilers: None

Takeaway: In case you haven’t seen the ubiquitous previews, the movie is about Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) convincing the reluctant author of Mary Poppins (Emma Thompson) to let him make her beloved book into a movie. It is a fun movie to see.

Gems from Ty Burr:

It is a Disney movie that plays the anti-Disney card  only to shore up the Disney wonderfulness….It’s the most interesting two hours of corporate branding you’re ever going to see.

….I didn’t quite buy Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, but I buy him as Tom Hanks, and that’s enough.

ABSCAM2. American Hustle

Spoilers: None.

Takeaway: A movie very loosely based on the ABSCAM scandal in the 1970’s, resulting in the ousting of a senator and others in the government.

Not a great movie, but story is good enough. What makes it a good movie is the mix of talented actors (Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner). Performances are amazing.

Ty Burr Gem:

[It’s as if] David O’Russell invited his cast from Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter and said, “Let’s make a movie. We’ll set it in the 70’s, we’ll give you really crazy hairstyles, it will be something to do with ABSCAM–I don’t know what.”

3. August: Osage County

Spoilers: None

Meryl in August: Osage CountyTakeaway: Dragon mother with cancer makes her family and everyone around her miserable. Meryl Streep is the heinous mother, Julia Roberts one of her kids.

Another movie where the performances make it worth seeing. Movie is not as good as the play, which was great.

Ty Burr Gem:

It’s very interesting to see Meryl Streep give one of her great acting performances next to Julia Roberts, who gives a very effective star performance and it’s very interesting to see the two in the very same room sharing the same oxygen. (Bolds are mine. Burr did not emphasize those words when he spoke. I like how he distinguished the two performances. )

4. Her

Spoilers: None.

Takeaway: Movie is set in the near future, about a man and his operating system falling in love. Operating systems by then have artificial intelligence and can feel emotions. Man played by Juaquin Phoenix, computer (voice) by Scarlett Johanssen.

Juaquin in HerIt is one of the best films of the year.

Ty Burr (more somber) Gem:

Sad portrait of people who are so busy on their own electronic devices that they lose touch with other people in their lives. 


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