Pride and Now Playing

By: Jeff Ford
By: Jeff Ford

Previewing the Good, Bad and Ugly of Killing Them Softly, The Collection, Anna Karenina and A Late Quartet

 Not much entering into multiplexes this week.  Only two of the featured films are new releases, while the other two are making their way to the Kentucky Theater for the first time.  Let’s open up with a song.

 

KILLING THEM SOFTLY

 

Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. *

 

The Good – Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) once again directs Brad Pitt (Cool World) as a hitman on an assignment, this time for the mob.  The film is earning rave notices and looks to be a stellar entry into the late year festivities.

 

The Bad – Until a week ago, I had never even heard of this movie.  I admit my theater habits have altered somewhat in the past few months, but for this film to have slipped past my radar does not bode well for its publicity.  The marketing department holds the most blame.

 

The Ugly – My singing of “Killing Me Softly” is tantamount to torture.  I’d recommend avoiding my rendition at the karaoke bars.

 

Killing Them Softly is rated R for violence, sexual references, pervasive language, and some drug use.

 

THE COLLECTION

 

A man who escapes from the vicious grips of the serial killer known as "The Collector" is blackmailed to rescue an innocent girl from the killer's booby-trapped warehouse.  *

 

The Good – From the writing team that brought us the last few Saw movies as well as the third season Project Greenlight winning picture Feast returns for a second dose of The Collector.  Long story short, it’s a gory slasher movie.  It all depends on if that is your cup of tea whether you think that’s a good thing or bad.

 

The Bad – As I’ve said, it’s a gory slasher movie.  It’s only appeal is to a certain demographic.

 

The Ugly – The opening of the trailer has spinning saw blades descending towards a bunch of party goers.  I don’t think that will end well.

 

The Collection is rated R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and brief nudity.

 

 

ANNA KARENINA

 

Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky.  *

 

The Good – This is the 13th cinematic adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy 19th century novel.  While the film is earning mixed to positive reviews, Keira Knightly is receiving rave notices as the title character, with many publications saying she is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination.  Keira is joined for the third time by Joe Wright, the director of Atonement and Pride & Prejudice.  The two work well together and no doubt the good will continue into this.

 

The Bad – The film’s detractors are saying that this film represents a style over substance approach.  The movie takes the approach as if everybody were actors on the stage, which is either good or bad, depending on which critic you follow.  While it is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it is not by much, sitting at 61% out of 123 reviews.  Keira may get the nod for actress and the set and costumes could pick up some technical awards, but that should be about it when it comes to the Oscars.

 

The Ugly – Why is it that everybody in these period movies have perfect teeth?  I highly doubt there were competent dentists back then.

 

Anna Karenina is rated R for some sexuality and violence.

 

A LATE QUARTET

 

Members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust.  *

 

The Good – Christopher Walken, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener headline this tale of a string quartet on its last legs.  All three are phenomenal actors which

 

The Bad – As one of my coworkers put it after watching the trailer, it sounds like great actors in a really boring movie.  I cannot disagree with him.  The plight of a string quartet does not lend itself to a cinematic endeavor and nothing I see of this makes me feel any different.

 

The Ugly – Has anyone listened to a string quartet’s rendition of a Godsmack song? 

 

A Late Quartet is rated R for language and some sexuality.

 

That will do for this week.  Tune in next time when King Leonidas practices his courting rituals.  Until then, I heard he sang a good song.  I heard he had a style.  And so I came to see him and listen for a while.

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