Casey Affleck

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: LOST AT SEA (THE FINEST HOURS)

 

By Brian Lafferty

January 29, 2016 (San Diego) – Now that Hollywood has released all of its Oscar hopefuls, it’s time to sift through the leftovers. January is the month where you’ll be hard-pressed to find a decent movie. Even when you do, the chances are high that it’s not even worth a discounted ticket. It’s a truth that all film critics quickly learn.

The Finest Hours (Craig Gillespie, 2016) is bland and vanilla, made as if it was designed for a January dumping. Perhaps I’m being cynical, but this outlook may not be so unfounded when you see that Disney is the studio responsible for this movie. After all, Disney made, and continues to make, a box office killing with Star Wars: The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, 2015), and could certainly afford to write this one off.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: "I'M STILL HERE" GOES WAY OUT THERE IN JOLTING, COMPELLING PORTRAIT OF JOAQUIN PHOENIX

By Brian Lafferty

 

September 13, 2010 (San Diego)--“I don’t want to play the character of Joaquin Phoenix anymore,” says Phoenix, the subject of this documentary. “I want to be whatever I am.” That is his explanation for why he chose to give up acting in favor of a rap music career. I’m Still Here, helmed by Phoenix’s brother-in-law Casey Affleck, is a film that you simply cannot prepare for. There are many images you will never unthink. These are not criticisms; as hard as it was to watch, I liked it. I didn’t necessarily enjoy it as I normally would. The documentary sets out and accomplishes what it wants to do and conveys what it wants to communicate. It doesn’t work as entertainment but then maybe that wasn’t the point.