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David O’ Russell Hustles Up An Acting Master Class But Forgets The Sizzle

By on Mar 26, 2014 in Reviews | 0 comments

Who would have guessed that the director of Spanking the Monkey would turn into one of Hollywood’s darlings? I certainly didn’t. David O’ Russell has been on a winning streak since The Fighter. His latest film American Hustle racked up 10 Academy Award nominations but walked away empty handed on award’s night. Unlike most decisions by the Academy, there was good reason why.

Russell’s directing is near perfect and the entire cast brings their A-game, but the film invites comparisons to much more compelling movies. With such expectations the risks it takes are not high enough and the con game at its center is not slick enough.… Read the rest

Favorite Scenes: Whose Car from The Town

By on Mar 24, 2014 in Favorite, Scenes | 0 comments

There are scenes in films created simply to demonstrate to the audience how tough a character is. Often they are action scenes. But sometimes a crafty director can show a character’s toughness simply by how they answer a question.

My favorite scene in Ben Affleck’s The Town is like that. A heist film with several shootouts worthy of Heat, the film is anchored between the friendship of Affleck and Jeremy Renner’s characters. In this scene Affleck asks Renner a question. I love the way Renner answers. It’s the way true friends should answer. The action scene that follows is just icing on their character sketch:… Read the rest