Brainless and forgettable, but familiar like a warm blanket…
This is one of those horror films that is firmly marketed at teenage boys. You don’t see that many of them at the moment but it is a genre staple that will never truly die out. I must admit I have a weakness for this kind of shit.
Most of the cliché horror characters are here of course, the slutty girl, the tough black guy, the plucky heroine, the handsome stranger, the strange country bums who aren’t what they seem etc. There is very little originality on show. Indeed, at one point there is a funfair set piece that we have seen many times before (Zombieland, one of the Final Destination movies).
As with all horror films the survivors get over the terrible and gruesome deaths of their friends almost immediately and the police will send one man on his own to the scene of said murders. It is all very predictable but it is pretty fun, there are some great deaths along the way and that is all you can ask from this brand of nonsense really.
If you are the kind of person who gets annoyed by plot holes and unrealistic moments in movies however, stay well clear of this because essentially Texas Chainsaw is terrible film making. It made back over three times its ten million dollar budget though so what the fuck do I know? Oh also it has the most ridiculous end to a film (and also one of the worst lines, I actually grimaced upon hearing it) I have ever seen.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel brought to life in impressive fashion by Baz Luhrmann.
While the characters of Gatsby and Nick Carraway are in no way a stretch for Leo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire respectively they both do well in the roles and the chemistry between the two is one of the films plus points. Being a Luhrmann flick it obviously looks great. Luhrmann is visually one of the best in the business, routinely surpassing peers Guillermo del Toro and Tim Burton (ugh). Stylistically he has moments that compare to Tarantino and this film just confirms his status as one of the most imaginative directors in mainstream cinema. Minor criticism is the pacing. It feels like Luhrmann attempts to fit too much into the last 30 minutes but other than that The Great Gatsby is a success.
Shout outs to Carey Mulligan and particularly Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan, he is a decent early shout for an Oscar nom for best supporting actor.
Also I will add that I have a long standing, intense loathing for 3D but I must admit this film is worth seeing in 3D. I found it enhanced rather than distracted and also the ballsy decision to have a contemporary soundtrack for a movie set in the 1920s pays off massively.
Pat Solitano leaves a mental institution and attempts to integrate himself back into normal society.
Bradley Cooper plays the protagonist and he smashes it out of the fucking park. In any other year he whould be nailed on for a best actor Oscar, Daniel Day-Lewis will win it of course.
Jennifer Lawrence cements her reputation as the best actress working in Hollywood right now with her crushingly beautiful performance as the damaged Tiffany. In support Robert De Niro gives his best performance in years and has some of the funniest lines.
Silver Linings Playbook has many laugh out loud moments but is also heartbreaking and up lifting, touching on mental health, alienation, longing, love, family, how sport and dance can bring people together and people’s attitude to mental illness (particularly the authorities). As someone who worked in mental health for a while I felt that the issues faced by Bradley Cooper and his reaction to them were portrayed perfectly. No film has touched me on so many levels as Silver Linings Playbook has for years. It also has the most iconic dance sequence since Pulp Fiction and a great soundtrack.
Director David O. Russell has come a long way since Three Kings and it is going to be nigh on impossible for him to follow the huge success of The Fighter and now this. If you only watch one the films nominated for Best Picture at this years Oscars make it this one.