I’m averaging about four trips per month to the local theaters to see a newly released movie. This past week I saw three: Jersey Boys (with a friend – he hadn’t been to a movie theater in 20 years!); Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (with my sons and daughter-in-law); and Begin Again (by myself). I liked all of them. I suspect that many of my fellow baby boomers will as well.
I was a little concerned about seeing this movie. I am a huge Four Seasons fan. I saw them in concert when I was in high school. A few years ago I saw the stage musical and loved it. My concern about the movie is that it would pale in comparison to the live events.
What I discovered to my pleasant surprise is that the Jersey Boys movie concentrates more on the story and less on the music. While the music is great, the stories of the characters are even more fascinating. The stage musical covered some of the story but it was more of a “jukebox” musical with the story barely there to provide a reason to showcase the songs. The movie reverses the emphasis.
Frankie Valli’s singing in the movie almost brought tears to my eyes with its realism. The actor that sang Frankie’s role in the Broadway musical plays the same role in the movie. Christopher Walken has a prominent part to play and is enjoyable on screen. Clint Eastwood directs. I liked that he allowed the characters to occasionally speak directly to the audience.
Don’t let the lukewarm reviews keep you sway. Spend a couple of pleasant hours learning why we liked that music so much.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I think I’ve seen all of the various “Planet of the Apes” movies over the years. This 2014 edition is the best yet in my opinion. The way that the apes are brought to life is tremendous. The movie conveys messages about humans and their relationships to each other and to other sentient beings that we need to hear. Yes, we’ve heard those messages before but this movie impacts us in a unique way.
I highly recommend that you watch the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie before you see this one. This is a sequel. The back stories from 2011 will help you appreciate what is happening on the screen this year.
I think this movie falls into the “indie” cataegory but it seems to be getting widespread release because of the A-list actors. It is a gentle romantic comedy built on contemporary music industry themes. The music is so good that it elevates the story from “OK” to good.
There are a few twists and turns that some will like better than others. Either way, the movie kept my interest throughout and I found myself bobbing my head and tapping my feet through many of the songs.
Again, this one is worth your time.
Have any of you seen any movies that you would recommend to our fellow boomers?