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Life of Pi : It’s absolutely the most gorgeous movie you’re going to see this year.  Ang Lee faithfully adapts Yann Martel’s widely read by middle aged white women novel into the most sumptuous cinematic experience one can imagine.  The spiritual symbolism just flies off the screen in eye-popping abundance.  And CGI tiger Richard Parker stands as a watershed moment in artificial movie lifeforms.  If James Cameron made the world believe in 8 foot tall CGI Native Americans, Lee can claim he’s made the world a better place with his big CGI kitty cat.  Beyond that the movie is dogged by a achingly bland framing device, middle aged Indian guy narrates story to young boring Caucasian writer, and a thick fingered need to underline it’s larger meaning in the final act.  It’s the unique movie of the season which can equally bore and enthrall in almost equal measure.

Silver Lining Playbook : Want to recreate the experience of watching this movie without actually going?  Fly down I-65 south at 5:17 PM on a Friday afternoon doing 93 mph.  As everyone honks, screams and otherwise curses your parents mistimed mating, throw your car back into traffic, blend in with the pack and quietly go about your day, the recklessness just flaunted quickly forgotten.

I can see why Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence read this screenplay and drooled.  Actors love ticking and mentally disabled pieces.  It gives them a chance to shine on camera and win awards for ACTING!  For 2/3 its duration Silver plows ahead fearlessly, unapologetically embracing the madcap laughs its unstable protagonists provide.  Even Robert DeNiro seems invested and ready to bring it like a fearless old bastard.  Then the Xanax kicks in the lithium induces hallucinations and cheerful movie 101 gently slips into the bloodstream.  It’s like Sandra Bullock showed up to direct the last 20 minutes.  A football game has to be won on top of a inspired dance competition.  It’s two manipulative pieces of shit for the price of one!

I’ve rarely seen a movie so completely abandon its senses so thoroughly.  And while the audience appreciation factor can’t be denied, I think I heard people clap, the misguided nature of it is oppressive.  Really, if every mental instability could be cured with a dance off, football game and love, why would we need psychiatry?  A possibly great effort reduced to a run of the mill uplift piece.  Enjoyable to a point but insulting in the end.


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