Coup de Grace (Volker Schlondorff) ***1/2 - A German army unit fighting Bolshevik guerillas find themselves stationed at the chateau of one of their officer. While there, the sister of the officer falls in love with another officer who refuses to return her affections. Unrequited love at the backdrop of war is nothing new. Though it's extremely well-crafted and acted, I thought the first two acts come off as a bit cold to me because the characters were unpleasant and I thought I've seen better films. But then the third act twists came up and it lifts up the entire film and makes EVERYTHING make sense all the way to the haunting ending. It's overall very, very good.
The Place Beyond The Pines (Derek
Cianfrance) ***1/2 - This is an interesting case. It is ALMOST a great movie. As
in milimeters close to being one. The first 2/3rds of the film, the one
concentrating on the bank-robbing motorcyle stuntman and new father played by
Ryan Gosling and the rookie cop that gets caught in a web of corrupt police
played by Bradley Cooper are top-notch. It falters a bit on the third act which
flash-forwards 15 years later concentrating on the now teenage sons of the two
characters despite a great performance by Dane DeHaan playing Gosling's
character's son. I personally like it a bit better than Blue Valentine, the director's previous work.
It's a worthy, solid piece of work.
Heat (Paul Feig) **1/2 - This is a buddy-cop action-comedy that has a
plot that's strictly paint-by-numbers and somewhat formulaic, it's almost
parody. Nothing to crow home about. However, what makes this particular one
enjoyable is the undeniable talent and hilarity of Melissa McCarthy who almost
single-handedly lifts up the otherwise mediocre material. She creates genuine
laughs while adding believable character nuances that you almost don't notice
the generic plot. I hope someone creates a vehicle more worthy of her talents