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Jennie’s Review: Out of the Furnace

Letter Grade:
(?)

A
The Good:

Acting
Cinematography
Realism


The Bad:

If I have to pick, I'd say that it isn't exactly uplifting.

Cast & Crew:

Directed By: Scott Cooper
Written By: Scott Cooper and Brad Ingelsby
Starring: Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard

Rated R for strong violence, language and drug content

Out of the Furnace opens with Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson) at a drive in theater.  He is on a date and the woman with him says something that upsets him.  He proceeds to throw her food out the window, jam a cigar down her throat, slam her head against the dash board, and then beats a good samaratatin checking on his date so savagely that onlookers are calling 911 by the end of the scene.  In case you missed the subtlety of this scene, he’s an awful person and the most OUT OF THE FURNACEobvious bad guy of the movie… unless of course you include post traumatic stress disorder and crippling depression as bad guys as well.

We then meet Russell Baze (Christian Bale) a worker at the local Steel Mill and his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), a Veteran who has done a few tours in the Middle East and is heading out for another due to being stop-lossed.  Rodney has a gambling problem (and a Bare-knuckle boxing to pay off his debts problem), Russell works hard and tries to bail him out as much as he can but it’s not enough.  Their father, who also spent his life working at the Steel Mill, is dying and hooked up to all sorts of medical equipment in his own living room.  Russell’s girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) wants more of a commitment, specifically a baby, but he does not believe he is financially ready for that sort of step.OUT OF THE FURNACE

Then Russell makes a terrible decision that changes his life and the lives of his loved ones forever.

This is the second endeavor for Director Scott Cooper.  His directorial debut was the critically acclaimed, award winning, and box office success Crazy Heart.  While this movie did not garner as much hype as the first one did, and it will not surpass its success, I believe it to be a wonderful piece that Cooper should be proud of. (more…)








Trailer Tuesday

Trailer Tuesday on Cinedraft.com

This week’s new trailers feature children killing children at the government’s behest, children killing adults while wearing masks, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. It’s directed by  (The Other Boleyn Girl), and stars , and . It will see limited release started in late November, just in time for Oscar season.

(more…)








New Trailer: Out of the Furnace

When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement fails to follow through, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.

2013 seems to be the year of wonderful ensemble casts, and this movie is no exception. Out of the Furnace stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, and Sam Shepard.  Not to mention that every one of these actors (with the exception of Dafoe… maybe) is in at least one other major or critically acclaimed movie this year. Directed by second time director Scott Cooper, whose directorial debut was the Oscar winning 2009 hit Crazy Heart.

*Photo courtesy of Relativity Media via image.net








Rob’s Review: Now You See Me

Letter Grade:
(?)

B+
The Good:

Likable characters
Familiar things done well and with style.


The Bad:

Actors don't have to stretch themselves much.
Beginning of the third act drags a bit.

Cast & Crew:

Writer: Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt
Director: Louis Leterrier
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine

Rated PG-13 for language, some action and sexual content

Now You See Me

Now You See Me is a fun movie. There’s nothing terribly groundbreaking about it, but the stuff we’ve seen before is done well and with a good deal of style. There are secrets and intrigue, car chases through the streets of New York, and foot chases through the French Quarter during Mardi Gras. It’s actually kind of a throwback to an older style of movie. (Charade came to mind in the theater, but that’s not a perfect fit.) (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…)