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Jennie’s Review: The Great Gatsby

Letter Grade:
(?)

B+
The Good:

Leonardo DiCaprio is Fantastic
Visually Stunning
Encourages reading (or re-reading) the Novel


The Bad:

Slower paced than expected
The great music is not prominent enough

Cast & Crew:

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writers: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Amitabh Bachchan

Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language

As was expected, the style of this movie is stunning.  Every last detail seems to have been meticulously thought out, down to where the glitter lands on the hoards of extras at the lavish parties.  I spent the extra 3 bucks and saw the movie in 3D.  I enjoyed the 3D and thought that is was well executed.  I don’t know if I would go as far as to say you should definitely see it in 3D, but I liked it in that format.  I will admit (I’m sure to my mother’s dismay) that if I read The Great Gatsby in the past, I have zero recollection of it.  So, my reflections are purely about the movie and not judging it against the literature.

The film opens with Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) in, what appears to be a Psychiatrists’ office at a Sanitarium.  He is telling the story of how he ended up a committed, depressed, and hopeless drunk.  The doctor knows that Nick used to enjoy writing, so when he struggles to vocalize his emotions and experiences, the doctor gives him some paper and a pen.  And so, the setting is that Nick is writing this great American novel about his experience with “The Great Gatsby.” Occasionally through the film some of the writing and typing is superimposed into the scene.  This is a gimmick, but a gimmick I appreciated and thought worked perfectly with the style of the film.

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Rob’s Review: The Great Gatsby

Letter Grade:
(?)

A-
The Good:

Masterful performance from DiCaprio.
Superb visuals give the film a dream-like quality.
Gave me a much greater appreciation for the book.


The Bad:

Loses its way in the middle and meanders about for a while before picking up again.

Cast & Crew:

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writers: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Amitabh Bachchan
Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language

If you go into Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby just looking for a happy-go-lucky interpretation of the hedonistic Roaring 20s (and the party scenes ARE wondrous), you’re going to be disappointed. If you go in with an appreciation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel then I think you’ll be very pleased. (more…)








Weekend Preview: This Week’s New Films

We have two new movies opening today.  The Great Gatsby should be pulling in most of the Box Office, but Peeples is also looking for a few of your dollars. (more…)








Summer Movie Preview: May

Summer movie season is upon us with the release of Iron Man 3 this Friday, so the Cinedraft staff felt now would be a good time to take a look at what is coming up this summer.  We start out with what’s coming out in May…

Iron Man 3

Release Date: May 3rd

Synopsis: Robert Downey Jr returns for another go-round as Tony Stark as he faces off against Ben Kingsley’s Manderin. Shane Black directs, and this will get Felix exceedingly excited. Also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, and either Don Cheadle or Terrence Howard, depending on how the coin flip turned out this time.

Our Thoughts:

Rob: This will be the real kick-off of the summer season. I’m not completely sold on Kingsley as the Mandarin, but I read that after seeing the Iron Man 3 finale Joss Whedon was upset because he didn’t know how he’d be able to top it for The Avengers 2, so expectations are pretty high.

Dave: I’m excited for Iron Man 3, I really am. I don’t doubt it will be a well made action film filled with funny Robert Downey Jr. one-liners. I suppose my only real worry about this film would apply to all Post-Avengers Marvel Universe movies… If the bad guy in Iron Man 3 is such bad news, why not just call in the rest of the Avengers to easily defeat him? Did they all have plans for the weekend that they couldn’t cancel? Seems like the conflict in this movie could be resolved by having the Hulk go in and slap Ben Kingsley around for a few minutes… problem solved.

Jennie: I am really looking forward to this movie. I think Robert Downey Jr is great and I generally have liked the Marvel movies over the last few years (not Ghost Rider of course). I like Ben Kingsly a lot and his voice sounds kind of awesome in the trailer, but I’m not sure how it will work with him as a action movie bad guy. I have no doubt that it’s going to be an entertaining movie. (more…)








Movie Review: Spider-Man 2

Letter Grade:
(?)

A+
The Good:

A real exploration of Peter Parker's character.
Doc Ock is a HUGE improvement over the Green Goblin. A villian with real depth.
Great pacing.


The Bad:

Franco plays one note.
For a superhero he sure loses his mask a lot.

Cast & Crew:

Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Michael Chabon, Alvin Sargent
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina

[Originally published on 6/30/2004.]

Thought Spider-Man 2 was great! I cannot name a better superhero movie. Only Batman comes close, and I’m disqualifying that for lack of actual superpowers.

It’s not afraid to put the action on hold for a bit and have some actual storytelling, and that’s good. It’s probably a big part of what made it so good. This isn’t just an action flick; Peter Parker really has his own problems, and isn’t certain that he really can, or even wants to, play the hero. The problem with the X-Men movies has been that they just have too many people to really explore each character in depth. With 2 hours devoted to a single superhero, Spider-Man can really be fleshed out. (more…)