Jennifer Lawrence won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a psychologically damaged women who becomes involved with and equally fragile guy (Bradley Cooper). He has been in a mental hospital, pushed over the edge by his wife’s leaving him, but living in a fantasy world in which he gets her back. Robert Di Nero plays his dad and Jacki Weaver plays the mom who checks him out of the hospital too soon. Cooper’s character coming home to live with his folks, and then meeting Lawrence’s character, who has more than enough trouble of her own, offers a complicated story with many character nuances. Rated 18A.
2. THE GUILT TRIP:
Oh, Barbra, Barbra, how could you do this? Barbra Streisand plays Joyce Brewster, mother of Andrew Brewster (Seth Rogan) in this road trip comedy that has mother joining an unwitting inventor son on a cross-country car trip. Written by Dan Fogelman (Cars 2), it doesn’t contain the same level of raunchy humour that we have come to expect from Seth Rogan in such vehicles as Pineapple Express or Knocked Up, and on some levels it could be viewed as being cute. But I can’t believe that La Streisand’s film career is relegated to movies about the Fockers, and films with Seth Rogan. That’s a sad thing! Rated 14A.
3. BROKEN CITY:
Everybody’s broken in this crime drama in which a maybe-crooked New York City mayor (Russell Crowe) engages a maybe-honest ex NYPD officer (Mark Wahlberg) to follow his maybe-philandering wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). What I liked were the performances by Crowe and Wahlberg. They bring the best out of their characters. Frames and double-crosses are the order of the day with Wahlberg’s character on the receiving end of most of the bad news. Does he deserve it? That’s what I didn’t like … the fact that none of these fine characters are straight up – each has a bend and a twist that makes them something other than that which they appear to be. Rated 18A.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK:
Big at the box office and big at the Oscars, I have to admit that I did not quite get what this movie was trying to say, a minority view as it’s a big hit!
THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT (1970)
Know what? When you go back and look at this George Segal/Barbra Streisand comedy made two generations before Seth Rogan was even born … the diva had quite an edge to her back then too!
PAIN & GAIN
Mark Wahlberg bulked up to 212 pounds for this caper flick in which a couple of body builders (Dwayne Johnson too) get involved in a kidnapping and extortion case
THE BIG WEDDING
Robert Di Nero great as a long-divorced husband playing at being married for a family wedding.