Posts Tagged ‘get low’

The January and February crop of releases includes a number that I would like to see but only one that I’ve actually viewed.

The Social Network (January 11)

This movie about the founders of Facebook currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97%. This looks like a well-made film, rated PG-13. Here is Ebert’s review.

UPDATE: I thought this was just ok.  It definitely does not hedge on demonstrating the depravity of man. Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg really are tremendous.

Freakonomics (January 18)

This is the documentary based on the book and blog by Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner. I loved the first book, thought the second was so-so, and enjoy their blog so I’ve been looking forward to seeing this.

Secretariat (January 25)

From the previews, this film looks like “Seabiscuit 2: Extra Cheese” but the reviews have actually been solid and it is a pretty amazing true story about a horse winning the Triple Crown (of which there have only been 3 in the last 60 years).

Conviction (February 1)

This movie looks like a great story and is rated R for violence and language.

Update 5/5/11

Powerful film. Watch it. Very bad language but very fitting. Read my full review here: Conviction: Who is My Advocate?

Waiting for “Superman” (February 15)

I’m already not a fan of the public school system, and the director of this film doesn’t seem to be either. It’s sure to be a bit manipulative in and how the stories of these kids are told but likely a very true indictment.

Update 5/5/11

Wow. Very well done documentary with very effective arguments. It only served to encourage us in our homeschooling but you ache for those kids who have no choice. Not the greatest film to watch if you’re a member of the teacher’s union!

UPDATE (2/1/11)

Unstoppable (February 15)

This was one of those late entries into the DVD releases. Unstoppable was a fun movie, not overacted by Pine, Denzel, or Rosario Dawson. It’s pretty predictable like any action flick but I enjoyed the 2 main characters and the back stories that give them at least a little depth. After seeing this film, I wanted to park an old car or camper on the train tracks behind our house and watch a train  just destroy it! (staged, of course, with their consent!) When you watch this movie, you have to think about why you like it, especially the ending: men sacrificing for the sake of others, coming through when things are stacked against them.

Get Low (February 22)

This was #3 on my top movies of 2010 and I wrote a review of it here. This is a fantastic movie; don’t hesitate to give it a view.

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This is not a big shocker here if you have been following this blog for very long! This is a must see movie, a solid piece of film art. I’ve written on it here, here, here, and here.

Shutter Island

You’re likely thinking: “DiCaprio in this guy’s top 2 movies of 2010? What is he thinking!” I’m thinking this is a solid movie that has grown on me. I love the end when seen in light of the hope that the gospel offers. Apart from the gospel, there is no hope – your choices are numbness (alcohol, sex, legalism, or a lobotomy) or despair, especially in light of a severe loss. I also appreciated the theme of self-deception and how so many times you can just be blinded to the fact that the people you see as your enemies are actually the only friends fighting for you and believing in you. Is Ben Kingsley’s Dr. Cawley an enemy or friend? You’ll have to watch and see. This is not a horror flick but a psychological thriller with some disturbing scenes and definitely a darkness to it. You’ll feel like you got punched in the stomach after watching it, but it’s worth it if you can see the beauty of the truths so elegantly on display.

Get Low

This was not a much publicized film and did not end up playing more in the smaller independent theaters. The only reason this isn’t higher than 3rd is because the first two are so excellent. Duvall and Murray are academy award winners and at their best but Black makes this movie for me. Read my full review here.

Crazy Heart

This movie came out right before Christmas last year but I lump it in with 2010 since that’s when most of us saw it. Jeff Bridges is unbelievable in this movie as the alcoholic aged former country star hitting rock bottom. He was so good that in the first half of the movie, my wife was simply grossed out by how genuinely wasted and skeazy he was. The academy award for best actor that he earned for this movie was well deserved. Be sure to check out my original thoughts here. Heads up on 2 scenes with sexual content that are easy to see coming and easy to fast forward through without missing anything important.

Toy Story 3

Is it me, or has every single dude I’ve talked to about this movie told me about how it took nearly everything they had to keep from weeping at the end of this film. That includes me. I nearly bawled at the end. That final scene is the epitome of bittersweet and genuinely heartfelt. I never thought an animated movie could have that effect but this movie did.

The Book of Eli

Denzel kicking the snot out of baddies, eluding the fantastically evil Gary Oldman, and trying to finish his mission to take the Bible to the west: what more could you ask in a film? What haunts me about this movie is brutality and depravity unleashed. This is no movie for the faint of heart or if you’re looking for a pick me up on a Friday night. There is hope, but it is not in this world.

Iron Man 2

Combined with the first Iron Man, this saga has been very entertaining, well acted, and a strong microcosm of how the gospel works into our lives. I discuss it here and here. Watch James Harlman’s (of Mars Hill) here:

Overall, there were some very good films this year, seriously. What’s coming in 2011? At first glance: a ton of sequels. We’ll see what early 2011 movies pop out of nowhere like Shutter Island, Book of Eli, and Crazy Heart did this year.

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December brings a whole host of DVD releases as Hollywood tries to get as many into stores as possible prior to Christmas. Check out my thoughts on the movies I’ve seen or had reliable recommendations on. Again, if you want to know how I evaluate movies and media, check my Film & TV Mini-Manifesto.

Eclipse (Dec 4)

Twihards and TwilightMOMs will be stoked for this release in the battle of Team Jacob vs Team Edward with a nice battle tossed in at the end for the dudes including some dismembering and decapitation of various unnamed vampires. Definitely the best film of the series (yes, I’ve seen all 3) and probably the most fast-paced and least painful for bros. You know my thoughts on Twilight overall from “The Edwardian Conflict” and The Gospel According to Twilight” and, again, the movies can barely do the books justice. Look for the picture of glorified divinity in the good vampires and the concept of the eternal family. Ultimately, Team Jacob can only offer a finite relationship while Team Edward represents eternity and glory. Let’s move on.

Inception (Dec 7)

This is easily the best movie I’ve seen all year in a year of some really good ones (Shutter Island, Get Low, Crazy Heart). It’s a tour de force that you’ll have to watch multiple times. Nolan is simply phenomenal in how he doesn’t settle for some action flick with an original concept but pushes into the heart of man. I can’t speak highly enough of this film and how I see the gospel woven into the very framework. My post on the father themes in this movie is the most popular post by far of my blog (1/3 of the total hits in November!). Read it here. Read here for a fuller preview prior to viewing.

24: Season 8 (Dec 7)

I had to call this release out. Is this Jack’s last hurrah? Is it just a prequel for a big release movie? Season 8 became fascinating to me once I connected the dots that this was the final season of the series. No one is safe. No line is too far for Jack Bauer. I hated how it finished but I really loved it once I had a chance to think about it. Jack Bauer represents who we want to be while at the same time manifesting the darkness inside of us that we all know is there. My reflection on the series and finale are here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Salt (Dec 7)

I have not seen this film but felt like I should plug it simply because I have not heard a bad thing about it. The previews only show scenes from the first half of the movie and it looks like the previews way overplay the sex – from what I can tell it’s a very clean movie but for language. Watch James Harleman’s thoughts on the film below. I look forward to seeing this movie.

Other releases include the final installment (hopefully) of the Shrek saga (Dec 7), the highly rated (97% on Rotten Tomatoes!) war documentary Restrepo (Dec 7), the looks-disappointing A-Team (Dec 14), the heavily recommended
Despicable Me (Dec 14), and Wall Street 2: Greed Again? (Dec 21. The original was one of my dad’s favorite flicks).

UPDATE (1/3/11)

Salt: My wife and I enjoyed this film. By the middle of the film, I had no idea what to expect. I loved the husband and his humble confidence as well as his relentless pursuit after her to win her.  I loved how everything wasn’t necessarily tidied up at the end.

Restrepo: Simply incredible documentary that will enthrall you and break you. It follows a platoon of soldiers deployed in the insanely intense Korengal Valley of Afghanistan for a year. The scene in which one soldier is killed (off camera) and seeing the response of the other soldiers will change how you think about war. This is a must see documentary, very well done, very objective, and will increase your respect and honor for what our soldiers endure. Beware of the language if you’re sensitive to that, I’m not sure if I’ve heard more f-words in any movie (even Tarantino’s films) ever. This film is worth watching though, I highly recommend it.

Update (1/28/11)

Despicable Me: I enjoyed and laughed frequently in this movie. Steve Carell is so funny as Gru and Jason Segel is so over the top as Vector I laughed whenever he came on screen. The end is predictable and I appreciate how they don’t even try to explain the origin of the minions.

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My wife and I saw “Get Low” this past week, the new movie with Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Lucas Black, and Sissy Spacek. From Duvall’s acting to the Gospel themes, it’s definitely worth watching.

Robert Duvall

He is one of only a few that could play this role! I’m not kidding! In “Get Low,” Duvall’s character, Felix, has to be believable from the very beginning of this movie. There is no time to fully develop him and he is such a unique character that you have to believe it right away. I did. Duvall is so genuine and has such gravitas that Felix comes alive and you buy him right away. Then, bit by bit, his past and background slowly come to light.

Bill Murray

My wife had trouble getting his character, but I love Murray in this film. He plays such a tension between slimy businessman and genuine care for people around him that his character, Frank, was very real to me. He was not a typecast or surface level but had complexity. You can see this in one situation where he seems to be fighting to take care of his business and Buddy as well as hedging his bets by seemingly covering his own rear. I loved it. The tension in his character is fantastic.

Lucas Black

Black as Buddy was a revelation to me. He could have easily been the surface level stereotype nice guy but he was much more than that. His sincere love and unselfishness towards Felix coupled with his fighting to provide for his sweet fiery wife was very subdued and not overacted. I found myself rooting for Buddy more than any other character; he’s just so genuinely winsome.


As Russell Moore says in his post on this movie, this movie has lot of the Gospel but not all of it. There is such a bitter sweetness to this film that kept growing on me the more I mulled it over after seeing it. The ending was uplifting but not enough. I wanted more out of the redemption. However, the pieces were all there throughout the movie. The 2 preacher/pastors in the film were very well portrayed and they communicated solid Biblical truth in nearly all of what they said. Their characters and words just added to the tension of what would ultimately come of Felix and if he would come clean with his story.

I would certainly recommend this movie. The characters pull you in and the tension in the story leading up to the end is great. You likely will have to wait until the DVD comes out as even the current showings seem to be limited and only in a few theaters. We saw the movie at the local Lyric Cinema Café in Fort Collins. The Lyric Cinema is a small, intimate setting with old school ambiance, rickety seats, and what seemed to be very loyal film buffs. It was a different experience that’s for sure but I think I’d go back. Sure my wife’s back hurt afterwards and the movie started 15 minutes late but, hey, at what other theater can you get a beer for half of what a soda costs at the corporate theater?

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