Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson) **** - I just flew three hours in a plane and went to a whole different country. What's the first thing I do? Watch a movie, of course (that's the way I roll). It turns out to be my favorite film of the year so far. The plot is simple: Two 12 year olds fall in love and run away throwing their parents and their town into a tizzy. The film is pure Wes Anderson: From the framing, the bright, colorful production design, the music, etc. It's also undeniably quirky, twee, hipsterish, whatever-you-wanna-call-it. In the hands of a less competent director, these types of things often irritate the hell out of me but in the hands of Wes Anderson, he uses it to enhance and complement the story he wants to tell, never sacrificing character and depth. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are great as the lead kids and supported very well by the veteran adult supporting cast. Fantastic score, cinematography and design, as well.
The Campaign (Jay Roach) *** - This seems like a winning combo: Funny men Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in a broad political satire. They're great and there are some genuine laughs to be had but I'll have to agree that this could have been a lot more biting and aggressive than it is. It flirted with it, it hinted at it and the actors are all game but it never did go to that next level. But as it is, it's a funny romp.
The Fugitive Kind (Sidney Lumet) *** - This is one of Sidney Lumet's early works. I will say that it's not as great as any of the three films of his I consider great (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Network). But still this picture is well worth watching for the great performances bv Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani and Joanne Woodward. There are some great powerful moments but it overall falls short of what it's trying to accomplish. A solid effort but far from a masterpiece.