The Kenblog: Movies For Adults Make A Comeback!
That said, Pat’s point is valid, especially when it comes from a marketing standpoint. The big tentpoles cost a lot of money to make so the studios automatically spend a boatload of cash to promote the film, hopefully insuring they get enough butts in the seats to justify the high cost of whatever super-hero epic is being released on the big screen. This especially happens in the summer when the kiddies are out of school and the various studios are competing for the hard-earned dollars of various families.
This year, especially, I’ve noticed that the marketing for films this winter has skewed a bit older and this winter there have been a bunch of adult-oriented movies that actually fit right in my buddy Pats wheelhouse.
There are fantastic dramas like “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” and “Ford vs. Ferrari” both of which are based on real people and real events. “Neighborhood” features Tom Hanks in a wonderful performance as legendary television host Fred Rogers. It’s not a biography, but the telling of a specific time in Roger’s life when he’s interviewed by a reporter with his own family issues. These interviews become something of a therapy session for the reporter and he finds his life changed in a way only Mr. Rogers can do. IT’s a wonderful film, gently dealing with real life problems in a way that would make Fred Rogers proud.
“Ford vs Ferrari” on the other hand, is a dymanic dramatic telling of the famous rivalry between Henry Ford II and Enzo zFerrari that culminated in a fantastic race iat the 24 Hours Of Le Mans in 1966. Directed by James Mangold, the racing scenes are spectacular but what makes “Ford vs. Ferrari” great is the interplay between Matt Damon and Christian Bale as Carrol SHelby and his volatile driver Ken Miles. These two were at the heart of Ford’s strategy to beat Ferrari and the drama between the two as well the trials and tribulations leading up to race make for some seriously compelling cinema!
We also have Robert Eggers’ latest called “The Lighthouse” about a pair of lighthouse keepers in the late 19th Century driven to madness by isolation and harsh conditions. Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Defoe and shot in stark black and white, “The Lighthouse” is an atmospheric, moody and sometimes horrifying thriller that isn’t afraid to anchor its effectiveness to atmosphere and terrific performances. It’s not for everybody, but “The Lighthouse” will reward fans of original cinema!
Also playing in theaters is the highly entertaining con artist film “The Good LIar.” THis one stars the terrific Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan as dueling con artists. And although you’ll figure out the players pretty quickly, the motivations of some of the characters are a little harder to judge. It’s a fun, cclever little thriller that features wonderful performances from stwo of the greatest thespians in the world. Don’t miss it!
And finally we’ve got an excellent Stephen King adaptation that unfortunately no one wanted to see. That’s a shame because “Dr. Sleep” is an excellent film. Taking place forty years after “The Shining” it features Ewen McGregor as a grown-up Danny Torrance who finds himself revisiting his past to help save a girl with similar powers from a group of monsters called the True Knot. Led by the ruthless Rose The Hat (a great Rebecca Fergeson) The True Knot are gypsy like creatures who feed on people who shine. Writer/director Mike Flanagan does an excellent job of creating an entertaining marriage between King’s books and Kubrick’s movie. NOt everything connects, but when it does you’ve got a rip-cracking horror yarn that rewards multiple viewings.
And there you have it. NOt a comic book or animated fluff film in the bunch. All you folks out there like Pat who long for something meatier have a lot of options this holiday season. Go forth and enjoy! So Sayeth The Kendog!