This week’s movie releases

This week’s movie releases

FILM: BLUE JASMINE
CAST: Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg
DIRECTOR: Woody Allen

Throughout his career, Woody Allen has created many indelible female characters portrayed by some of the world’s greatest actresses, including Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Mira Sorvino, Judy Davis, Samantha Morton, Scarlett Johansson, and Penelope Cruz, to mention only a few. Whether they appear in light comedies, dark dramas or anything in between, these complex female characters have resonated in the memories of cinemagoers as the focal points of his movies. Certain to take her place in this gallery of multifaceted, complex, and richly observed women is Jasmine, the troubled heroine of Allen’s new drama ‘Blue Jasmine’, portrayed by another one of the world’s most extraordinary actresses, Cate Blanchett.
‘Blue Jasmine’ is about the dire consequences that can result when people avert their eyes from reality and the truth they don’t want to see.

We first meet Blanchett’s New York socialite Jasmine shortly after she has suffered a breakdown, triggered by the cataclysmic collapse of her marriage to wealthy financier Hal (Alec Baldwin). Up until that point Jasmine’s entire identity was wrapped up in being an elegant, well dressed, culturally sophisticated woman living the Manhattan high life, but now that life is over, and her mental and emotional state is rapidly veering off course. “We know from the minute the movie opens that Jasmine is lost,” says Allen. “She’s already someone who has been found talking to herself and has had real problems.”

Hitting rock bottom both financially and psychologically, and having nowhere else to go, Jasmine turns to her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), a grocery store cashier in San Francisco. “Jasmine has really been through the mill,” says Allen. “In a fit of anger she did something that caused dire consequences she never anticipated, and she brought on herself an extremely potent series of traumas.” Says Blanchett: “Jasmine is in freefall and has to leave behind everything she knows and has expected. She’s entering the realm of absolute unknown, moving from one coast to the other, from one social set to the other, one class to another.”
Jasmine’s flaw is that she derives her worth from the way she’s perceived by others, while she herself is blind to what is going around her. Delicately portrayed by a regal Blanchett, Jasmine is meant to earn the compassion of the audience because she is so often the unwitting instrument of her own downfall.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Robert-De-Niro-and-Morgan-FFILM: LAST VEGAS
CAST: MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ROBERT DE NIRO, MORGAN FREEMAN, KEVIN KLINE, MARY STEENBURGEN, ROMANY FALCO, JERRY FERRARA, ROGER BART
DIRECTOR: JON TURTELTAUB

Four Academy Award winning legends, with a combined six Oscar wins, nine nominations, and films that have grossed nearly $16 billion in worldwide box office, together for the first time on the big screen.
Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline star as lifelong friends who opt to stop acting their age and relive their glory days when the pack’s sworn bachelor decides to get married to his girlfriend (who is half his age).

The destination? Las Vegas.
But the four quickly realize that passing decades changed the game: Sin City has had its own coming-of-age and a rivalry has strained the bonds of their friendship. The Rat Pack may have once played the Sands and Cirque du Soleil may now rule the Strip, but it’s these guys who are taking over Vegas.
“They could have sent me the phone book and I would have taken the part,” quips Morgan Freeman (who plays Archie). “You see (‘Last Vegas’) was a shot at doing a nice one with the icons of my life…a terrific draw. It is an interesting realization that we’ve been weaving in and out of each other’s lives and (working together) never came to pass.”

“In a way,” adds Robert De Niro (who plays Paddy), “it’s not like you’re working with a stranger. We all have had a certain kind of connection over the years, of being aware of each other’s work, and that helps in certain ways, ways that I can’t even articulate now.”
Michael Douglas (who plays Billy), on working with his co-stars: “When you get four guys from the ‘Flatbush area’ who start improvising, it’s very funny. Everybody has their own style. I was interested to see how that was going to work out. It turned out a great group of mixed styles that complimented each other perfectly.”

Kevin Kline (who plays Sam) relished the opportunity to work with his co-stars: “To work with actors whose work you have admired for years was exciting. The better the actor you’re working with, the better you’re going to be.” Kline also jumped at the chance to be involved with a script that explored friendship.
“I liked the way the script dealt with their friendship, not only the virtues and benefits but also the requirements and cost of friendship. They support each other unconditionally but they also remind one another if they’ve gone astray. That sometimes requires real courage.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Michael-Fassbender-in-'The-FILM: THE COUNSELOR
CAST: MICHAEL FASSBENDER, PENÉLOPE CRUZ, CAMERON DIAZ, JAVIER BARDEM, BRAD PITT
Director: RIDLEY SCOTT

Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott and Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy (‘No Country for Old Men’) have joined forces in the motion picture thriller ‘The Counselor’, starring Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt. McCarthy, making his screenwriting debut, and Scott interweave the author’s characteristic wit and dark humor with a nightmarish scenario, in which a respected lawyer’s one-time dalliance with an illegal business deal spirals out of control.
Told with wit, and ultimately violence and pathos, ‘The Counselor’ is a cautionary tale about mistakenly tempting fate. It is, says Cormac McCarthy “about people who get involved in something they should have stayed out of.”
Once dubbed the “Shakespeare of the West,” McCarthy’s characters have captivated the imaginations of millions of readers. While several of his novels – including ‘No Country for Old Men’, ‘The Road’, and ‘All The Pretty Horses’ – have been turned into films, McCarthy surprised everyone when he turned in the screenplay for ‘The Counselor’.