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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cindy Prascik's Reviews of Eddie the Eagle & Triple 9

Dearest Blog, yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for the promising double-bill of Eddie the Eagle and Triple 9. Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers. First up: Eddie the Eagle. An unlikely prospect dreams of Olympic glory. 
I cannot and shall not mince words here: I absolutely adored Eddie the Eagle. It exceeded all my expectations, and marks the second consecutive February that Taron Edgerton stakes an early claim on my year-end top ten. Eddie the Eagle keeps its tone light. A road like this always has more than its share of potholes, but these filmmakers are more interested in presenting a hopeful, inspiring piece than than in putting forth the full truth. 
The movie is also a textbook example of that old saying, "A happy ending depends on where you stop your story." (The film's namesake, Eddie Edwards, attempted to participate in three Olympics subsequent to the Calgary Games, and failed to qualify all three times.) Edgerton is phenomenal in the lead, equally convincing as this tenacious outsider as he was portraying Kingsman's streetwise thug turned debonair secret agent. 
As Eddie's reluctant mentor, Hugh Jackman owns every minute of his screen time, providing some of the movie's best laughs as well as its most sincere, intelligent moments. 
There's some lovely Bavarian scenery on display, and a fair bit of nostalgia for those who fondly remember the 1988 Olympic Games. The movie is smartly paced, fully self-aware, and can't help but speak to anyone who's ever been unfairly disregarded or marginalized. 
Eddie the Eagle clocks in at 105 minutes and is rated PG13 for "Some suggestive material, partial nudity, and smoking." 
Superficial it may be, but Eddie the Eagle is a thoroughly delightful cinema experience. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Eddie the Eagle gets eight. 
Next on the docket: Triple 9. The Russian mob coerces a ruthless gang into attempting a nearly-impossible heist. 
Well, dear reader(s), if your current cinema mood is somewhat less cheerful, the weekend schedule also offers the gritty Triple 9, a crime thriller so intense I'm pretty sure I didn't breathe for the first 15 minutes. 
Triple 9 boasts an impressive cast, with uniformly solid performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins, Jr., Aaron Paul, and Norman Reedus, and brilliant, nearly unrecongizable turns by Michael Kenneth Williams and Kate Winslet. 
Despite showing its hand early, the movie is gripping from the first second to the last. It's a brutal picture, backed by a tense, masterful score, and I was equal parts fascinated and appalled. Triple 9 runs 115 minutes, and is rated R for "strong violence and language throughout, drug use, and some nudity." 
Triple 9 won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're not put off by the dark side of life, you can't help but fall for this exciting-but-grim tale. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Triple 9 gets seven and a half. 
Until next time... 

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