Archives for posts with tag: Viola Davis

If you skip your daughter’s cello recital to do big-time lawyer stuff, some CIA-trained psychopath is going to kill half of Philadelphia. That is the main lesson to be learned from “Law Abiding Citizen”(2009), in which Jamie Foxx is the big-time lawyer and Gerard Butler is the CIA-trained psychopath. I might be oversimplifying. I was too caught up in all the big, sloppy revenge Butler was taking on an American legal system that promotes expediency over justice (I am a long-time fan of big, sloppy revenge). If the sloppiness makes you feel guilty, the ending will bail you out.

I was expecting a typical biopic, but “Get on Up” (2014) is so much more entertaining, so much more creative. Is it lazy to say the movie matches the man? James Brown, because of the sloppy last years of his life, has been reduced to that of an entertainment industry cartoon character (I know. As a TV newsman, I once stalked him in a driveway as he was bused into Broad River Correctional Institution). But he was a musical genius and an innovator on and off the stage. No, it’s not lazy to say this quirky film does him justice.

I don’t know what I was expecting from “Beautiful Creatures” (2013). I presumed there would be teen angst. I wasn’t prepared for it to be served with a side order of witchcraft and a huge helping of philosophical musing over free will. Combined, it’s an allegory on power. The power of attraction, of love, of fate. The power to control any or all of those things in ourselves and others. And the power that teenage girls hold (or held) over us, even when it’s just an actress faking it on a screen. They can truly be bewitching. They truly can.