Sunday, October 6, 2013
Cindy Prascik's Review’s of Runner Runner and Gravity
Dearest Blog, today I slogged to the cinema for the ho-hum double bill Runner Runner and Gravity.
Spoiler level here will be mild...ish, I guess. Mostly nothing that's not in the trailers, though I gotta say one thing about Gravity that doesn't give away anything specific, but may be more than some want to know before watching.
First on my agenda was a movie I was actually pretty interested in despite poor reviews, Runner Runner.
Brilliant but broke whiz-kid Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) gets sucked into the business empire of online gambling kingpin Ivan Block (Ben Affleck).
Timberlake and Affleck both turn in solid performances in Runner Runner, but their characters are sorely underdeveloped. I had a hard time buying that Furst was smart enough to discover what brought him to Block's attention, not due to any shortcomings on Timberlake's part, but because the movie just didn't convince me. Ditto how Block got to where he is. In both cases the movie makes mention of the past without doing enough to make it feel real.
Gemma Arterton fares even worse as Block's business partner and ex-flame. There's no denying she looks hot as ever, but I'd have liked to see her with more to do. Anthony
Mackie is solid as usual as an FBI agent out to take down Block's operation.
If there are hiccups in the way online gambling is presented, or the means used to discover certain things, well, I don't know enough about any kind of gambling for those to have bothered me, as they have apparently bothered some.
The movie does a good job of maintaining tension throughout, and sets up a suitable, if predictable, ending.
Runner Runner run(ner)s 91 minutes and is rated R for "language and some sexual content."
Runner Runner is a decent thriller that is smart enough not to wear out its welcome.
Funny thing is, I (of all people!) actually wished this one were a little longer. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Runner Runner gets six.
Next up was Gravity, one of the two critical darlings (along with Rush) that I've been dreading like a root canal.
An accident leaves a pair of astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) adrift in space and fighting for survival.
Though I'm not quite jumping on the Gravity Love Train, I liked it much better than I expected to.
It's easy to understand why every director I follow on Twitter has been crowing about Gravity for the last week or so; it's glorious, easily one of the most stunning movies I've ever seen.
You know, dear reader(s), I hate 3D and wouldn't steer ya towards it unless it were really worth it, but Gravity's 3D is really, really worth it. I flinched to get out of the way of space debris more than once!
Clooney and especially Bullock give realistic, moving performances, and Bullock had me in tears more than once. A magnificent score provides perfect emotional cues. That's the good news.
The bad news is, even at just over 90 minutes, Gravity feels too long. Space is beautiful, but I got bored of watching spacesuits tumble and drift, set to the backdrop of Bullock's incessant panting and grunting.
I also think maybe the film should have been called Murphy's Law instead of Gravity, because the number of things that had to go wrong to maintain peril started to feel a bit ridiculous and contrived. Still, there's more right than wrong with Gravity, and I'm delighted I didn't pay 3D prices just to hate it.
Gravity clocks in at 90 minutes and is rated PG13 for "intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images, and brief strong language." Whatever shortcomings it may have,
Gravity is worth seeing in 3D on the biggest screen you can find.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Gravity gets seven.
Until next time...
If actual space is so much danger and so little Spock, why do people bother?