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The Great Gatsby (2013) – VOD
Rating: 3 (out of 5). The Great Gatsby (2013) follows the life and times of millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his love for Daisy Buchanan(Carey Mulligan), as recounted by his neighbor Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) in the 1920s. Director Baz Luhrmann created a big, bold adaptation of the famous novel that, if not prefect, nevertheless scored with the critics with one calling the film “eminently enjoyable” and another said that the director got it “just right.” The reviews are below.
You can also rent this film from Amazon.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Amitabh Bachchan.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Chicago Sun-Times gives the movie 3 ½ stars, and further says that “Director Baz Luhrmann gets ‘The Great Gatsby’ just right.”
New York Post rates it 3 ½ out of 4 stars, and writes, “Given the director’s penchant for visual bombast and the superhero-sized budget at his disposal, it’s also surprisingly satisfying (and text-faithful) as a dramatization of F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s classic novel — thanks to stellar work by Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role and Tobey Maguire as his neighbor and only true friend, Nick Carraway.”
The Charlotte Observer gives the movie a B+ rating, and notes, “The “Gatsby” that, of three I’ve seen and two I’ve read about, seems most faithful to the spirit of Fitzgerald’s superbly sad book. His audacity pays off in a way that may not exactly reproduce the novel but continually illuminates it.”
The Oregonian thinks “Despite the fact that all this gleeful depiction of excess seems to somewhat miss the point of Fitzgerald’s novel, though, the movie is a success, largely thanks to lead performances that carry emotional weight despite all the frenzy around them.”
Tampa Bay Times writes, “It is aggressively bold, taking the excesses and conspicuous consumptions of Fitzgerald’s characters to their illogical ends. If a scene calls for sparks, Lurhmann provides fireworks; if drama demands depth, he presents it in 3-D.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, “This is not your grandfather’s “Gatsby.””
According to Movie Nation, this movie is “Jazzy, fizzy and often quite fun.”
Slate says this movie will give you “A grandiose, colorful, pleasure-drenched night at the movies.”
Time writes, “Maguire’s otherworldly coolness suits the observer drawn into a story he might prefer only to watch. DiCaprio is persuasive as the little boy lost impersonating a tough guy, and Mulligan finds ways to express Daisy’s magnetism and weakness.”
New York Magazine thinks, “The best thing about Baz Luhrmann’s much-anticipated/much-dreaded The Great Gatsby is that, for all its computer-generated whoosh and overbroad acting, it is unmistakably F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. That is no small deal.”
The New York Times gives an advice: “The best way to enjoy Baz Luhrmann’s big and noisy new version of “The Great Gatsby” — and despite what you may have heard, it is an eminently enjoyable movie — is to put aside whatever literary agenda you are tempted to bring with you.”
The Village Voice writes, “It’s an expressionist work, a story reinvented to the point of total self-invention, polished to a handsome sheen and possessing no class or taste beyond the kind you can buy. And those are the reasons to love it.”
The Hollywood Reporter says that his movie is “A hugely elaborate, well-cast adaptation of an American classic that will provoke every possible reaction.”
Entertainment Weekly gives it a B- rating, and further writes, “There’s a reason The Great Gatsby continues to be taught in classrooms nearly 90 years after it was written. It’s a dazzling time capsule of a shimmering era and a devastating look into the dark side of the American dream. Too bad Luhrmann, the caffeinated conductor, doesn’t trust that story enough. He’d rather blast your retinas into sugar-shock submission. Uncle, old sport! Uncle!”
Boston Globe notes, “So it’s not a great “Gatsby.” It still comes closer than other versions have dared, in both its willful vulgarity and its on-and-off awareness of what Americans have traditionally used vulgarity to avoid thinking about.”
Slant Magazine rates it 2.5 out of 4 stars, and describes it further: “Decadent prose is transformed into a decadent filmmaking style that defies modesty in the most brutal sense.”
Total Film concludes, “Gatsby fans will be unoffended yet untransported, but soundtracks will sell, DiCaprio will be on bedroom walls again and new readers may discover the book – which is no bad thing.”
Arizona Republic thinks, “… With a running time of nearly 21/2 hours and a near-constant bombardment of visual overstimulation, it’s exhausting.”
Variety observes, “It is often said that great books make for inferior films and vice versa, but there is something particular about “Gatsby” that seems to defy the screen.”
A.V. Club gives the show a C+ rating, and thinks, “While it gets points for a Sunset Blvd. homage, even the finale goes soft. The movie leaves the sense that, like Gatsby himself, Luhrmann has bought the book without cutting the pages.”
Film.com calls it “Undeniably polished and unfailingly empty.”
NPR thinks, “As the execution of an audacious concept, it’s an impressive effort; as an attempt to distill the spirit of Fitzgerald’s novel, it’s a near-total failure. Luhrmann renders the green light on the Buchanans’ dock with retina-searing vividness, but he never comes close to capturing its fatal allure.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer calls it “A dizzying display of excess.”
Reelviews describes “The Great Gatsby”: “As a book, The Great Gatsby is a compelling read. As translated into movie form by Luhrmann, it’s something of a struggle. The pacing is consistently off. The movie lurches along unevenly, daring the viewer to remain invested and interested.”
Miami Herald thinks, “Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is a failure that should have at least been a magnificent mistake, a risky endeavor that showed a daring intent even if its brash vision didn’t quite succeed. Instead, the movie leaves you cold and weary and vaguely disgusted…”
The Washington Post writes, “… for all its devotion to surface sheen, Luhrmann’s “Gatsby” is strangely un-beautiful, never becoming something genuinely new rather than an elaborately illustrated retelling.”
Chicago Tribune says, “Despite a few good ideas and the uniformly splendid production and costume designs by Luhrmann’s mate and partner, Catherine Martin, this frenzied adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” is all look and no feel.”
USA Today notes, “Frenzied and overwrought, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is a glitz-filled folly.”
Indiewire thinks, “Released in ostentatious 3D, set to a contemporary soundtrack by Jay-Z and shot with a soaring virtual camera that celebrates every corner of the affluent scenario, Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” has the hallmarks of a contemporary Hollywood spectacle. It’s missing the explosions, but make no mistake: “Gatsby” is one glitzy misfire.”
Empire Online gives his verdict, “Despite DiCaprio’s prize performance, purists will fume, but even as lit-crashing razzle-dazzle entertainment Luhrmann’s adaptation is a candelabrum too far.”
New York Daily News was impressed by DiCaprio, and writes, “Luhrmann piles on one shiny distraction after another. But amid all the seductively gaudy excess, DiCaprio finds both the heart and hurt buried within one of literature’s everlasting enigmas.”
Los Angeles Times shares the same sentiment, and writes, “Director Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a smothering spectacle for the audience and actors alike, though Leonardo DiCaprio succeeds in the lead role.”
The Austin Chronicle thinks, “Luhrmann’s version (co-scripted with Craig Pearce) is the fifth whack at bat, and it gets some elements right, others spectacularly wrong, in its retelling of the doomed Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), a self-invented entrepreneur with criminal ties who is anxious to woo back his first love, Daisy (Mulligan, rocking a killer warm coo that turns to wobbly gelatin under duress).”
Salon concludes, “Not everything has to be a movie! This fragile masterwork probably never will.”
TimeOut New York says, “Shorn of its quintessentially American roots, a biting tale of adult extravagance becomes insubstantially tween-aged.”
The Wall Street Journal writes, “Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” is a tale told idiotically, full of noise and furor, signifying next to nothing.”
RollingStone concludes, “There may be worse movies this summer than The Great Gatsby, but there won’t be a more crushing disappointment.”
The New York Observer says, “Director Baz Luhrmann takes a meat cleaver to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece”
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New on VOD
Here are the new VOD films for the week of March 4, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
12 Years a Slave. Rating: 5 (out of 5). Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York, is abducted and sold to slavery in the 1800s. This year's Oscar Winner for Best Picture (amongst other awards) comes to VOD on March 4. Critics loved this movie, New York Post calls it “The "Schindler's List" of slavery films.” Reviews, video and more.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Rating: 4 (out of 5). Katniss Everdeen is back on the big screen in this second installment of the Hunger Games series. She returns home safe with fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, but their reunion with their families and friends is cut short when they learn that they have to compete in the Hunger Games for the second time. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, March 7, and has been positively received by critics. The Boston Globe thinks, “Book’s good. Movie’s better.” Reviews, video and more.
After The Dark. Rating: 3 (out of 5). A philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty students with a thought experiment: faced with a nuclear apocalypse, they must determine which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race. The experiment turns deadly as everyone in the group turns against each other in a fight for survival. The film comes to VOD on Tuesday, March 4. It has received mixed reviews from the critics, but Los Angeles Times thinks, “While the story's conceit brims with metaphor and symbolism, it rarely comes off as didactic or heavy-handed. Instead, it's smart and provocative. The movie's late-breaking twist also feels about right.” Reviews, video and more.
Oldboy. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Joe Doucette, an advertising executive, was kidnapped and held in solitary confinement for 20 years. When he is released without any explanation, he begins to search for answers as to who and why he captured, only to find out that the bigger question is to why he was released. The film will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, March 4. The critics gave Spike Lee’s remake of a South Korean film mixed reviews, with inevitable comparisons to the original Oldboy. But according to Chicago Sun-Times, “It’s generally a respectful homage that has every bit as much stylishness and visual flair.” Reviews, video and more.
The Bag Man. Rating: 1 (out of 5). Jack is hired by Dragna, a legendary crime boss, to complete a simple but unusual task, and is made to wait for the latter’s arrival in a remote location. While waiting for the crime boss, Jack meets Rivka, a stunningly beautiful woman who becomes emotionally and physically entangled with Jack. When Dragna finally makes it to the location, there are sudden and extreme consequences for all involved. The film will be premiering on VOD on Tuesday, March 4. Most critics were not pleased with the film, and Los Angeles Times thinks, “"The Bag Man," starring John Cusack, Robert De Niro and Rebecca Da Costa, is a brutally violent, misogynistic mind game gone wrong.” Reviews, video and more.
Perfect Sisters. No Rating. Tired of their mother’s dependence on alcohol and abusive boyfriends, two sisters devise a plot to kill her. The film premires on VOD on Monday, March 10. No critic reviews are available as of writing.
Missing William. No Rating. A 30-something artist based in Rhode Island, Abby, is caring for her husband, William, who got injured in a bar fight. While nursing her husband back to health, her childhood sweetheart, James, tries to show her that life can be enjoyable again. The movie will be available on VOD starting Friday, March 7. No critic reviews available as of writing. Video and more.