Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reel Insight Episode 64: Morgan Freeman!!!!

Rachel and I knew that this was going to be a long discussion.  Before we even started we'd both seen more than 20 of his films.  Now we've seen quite a few more and this is a seriously awesome episode, mostly just because we had a ton of fun making it (I'm not sure that we care if you agree that it's awesome, it was just fun to make).  Recorded over 2 nights (that's how Rachel gets sober halfway and I perk up a bit).

We also discuss 3 still-in-theater movies, 50/50, Contagion, and The Ides of March.  Our random discussion this week involves the trailer for the upcoming The Avengers movie.  Enjoy and send us an e-mail to tell us what you think - you've got 2 weeks!

New movies seen with Morgan Freeman this week:

Feast of Love - I don't think I described this well during the podcast.  Greg Kinnear is a coffee shop owner unlucky in love - we first meet him just as his wife Selma Blair decides she's gay.  We meet his friend, Freeman, a professor on sabbatical recovering from the loss of his son to a drug overdose.  We also get to know one of the baristas who falls in love at first sight (that actually works out for the most part).  Kinnear meets another woman and falls in love again - except she's really still in love with her lover, a married Billy Burke.  We follow all of these stories over time.  The movie finds the balance between indie quirky and box-office schmaltz and walks the line quite well.  Freeman anchors the story as we watch him struggle to find meaning in love and advise his friend. 4 of 5 stars/lambs

Chain Reaction - A really bizarre movie that had potential and then they cast Keanu Reeves as a machinist who discovers the answer to an unlimited clean power source.  Freeman works for a shady government agency who is trying to prevent the free energy from destroying world markets.  Keanu has to escape with Rachel Weisz when they're accused of killing one of the other scientists and blowing up the lab.  Lots of chasing around and trying to figure out what's going on.  2 of 5 stars/lambs

Brubaker  - Freeman's first feature length film.  It stars Robert Redford who takes on his job as the warden of a Southern prison farm by entering as a prisoner and finding out how awful the conditions are within the prison.  Freeman has one great speech threatening another prisoner - you can almost believe it's Red (from Shawshank) in his first year or so in prison, just in the wrong state.  It's mostly boring and told in a style of film common in the late 1970s that I don't care for, but it's not bad.  3 of 5 stars/lambs

Edison (aka Edison Force) - This was painfully awful.  A group of cops are part of F.R.A.T., an unsupervised unit that can do whatever they hell they want to ensure justice.  Starring LL Cool J and Dylan McDermot as the cops - McDermot getting crazier and LL becoming disillusioned with the rough life.  Meanwhile Freeman is a newspaper editor who is mentoring Justin Timberlake (now you know why I saw this).  Timberlake is trying to break the story about this secret group, and is threatened and endangered along the way.  Not particularly violent and not well written or acted, it falls pretty far down the list.  1.5 of 5 stars/lambs

1 comment:

CS said...

I have to disagree with you both on Lean on Me, the film still holds up well for me. My wife in particular is a huge fan of the film. It is one of the few inner city school films where you actually see an African American teacher/principal dealing with African American students. Normally these films focus on how the “misguided students” are saved by the tough but caring Caucasian teacher. Sure some of Freeman’s decisions, such as firing the non-effective teachers and kicking out the failing students, may seem outlandish but he is only doing what we are all secretly wish the school system had the “stones” to do.

Great show as always ladies!