Now, after 158 exhilarating minutes of cinematic bliss, I must admit I am a believer. Les Misérables is a stunning achievement—a rare experience that reminds us of why we love going to the movies.
Leave it to big studio execs, hungry to milk every cent from this franchise, to stretch one book over three movies. Halfway through this film, I felt like the whiny kid in the back seat asking his parents repeatedly, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
The transformation of Britt Reid from a hedonistic, self-absorbed jerk to a justice-seeking hero is a common thread in films of this sort. When Reid first wrestles with the idea of becoming the Hornet, he convinces Kato by pleading with him to help him “get some justice.”
We have all heard the joke about the lyrics of a typical country song: “my wife left me, my dog died and I lost my truck.” While not quite so obvious, writer and director Shana Feste’s Country Strong comes pretty close to nailing every possible cliche.
When the film is allowed to slow down, a heartbeat is revealed—if only the filmmakers were patient enough to let it play out. It is in re-connection to his father that Stark gets a glimpse of how his power can be used for something greater than himself.
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