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On the Road With Gus

Movies: ‘Trouble With the Curve’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

In Robert Lorenz’s “Trouble With the Curve” the good guys win. All of them, pretty much.
Clint Eastwood is Gus, a scout for the Atlanta Braves. (He signed Chipper Jones, Dale Murphy and Tom Glavine, among others.)
But Gus is getting older. His eyesight is failing. His temper, never placid to begin with, is steadily disimproving.
And it doesn’t help that Phillip (Matthew Lillard), a cutting edge twerp who wears open-collared shirts and pullovers, has the Atlanta general manager’s ear. (Vince, the GM, is played by Robert Patrick, who looks almost as crusty as Clint.)

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Gorgeous, and Empty

Movies: ‘The Master’
leong@lakevillejournal.com

For months the buzz on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” anticipated a movie based on the Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, its founder, from a master of filmmaking. What emerged, however, is a film that embraces the possibilities of technique and 65-millimeter film stock with wild abandon, bombards us with beautiful scene after scene, stuns with three bravura performances, yet leaves us confused by unresolved storytelling and, ultimately, unmoved.

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Enjoy Watching Gere, That’s It

Movies: ‘Arbitrage’

How many times has Richard Gere played the slick money guy in the expensive suit? It’s been more than 20 years since “Pretty Woman,” and while a quick scan of his resume shows plenty of other kinds of roles, he fits so well into the part of hedge fund high roller Robert Miller, it’s as if he was born in the corner suite. And he wears that suit so very well.

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A Word About ‘The Words’

What if a writer committed the ultimate act of plagiarism: copying someone else’s novel and then passing it off as his own, achieving success in the act?
That is the intriguing and topical premise of “The Words,” a romantic drama starring Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover,” “He’s Just Not That Into You”) as the author Rory Jansen.

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For Love of Music

compass@lakevillejournal.com

Robert Julien is the music man. He plays recordings and sometimes videos of great musicians playing Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and people flock to his Taconic Learning Center course on Tuesday afternoons at Noble Horizons where he lives.
“First time I did it I scheduled an all-Bach program. Eighty people showed up,” he told me.
That was 4 years ago and his course is still a hit.
“These people [not all of them elderly] really love music.They are not all sophisticated, but they all have a long history of listening to music.”
And so does Julien.

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Missing the Mark With Mumbling, Violence and Pokiness

Movies: ‘Lawless’
patricks@lakevillejournal.com

John Hillcoat’s “Lawless” is an uneven film about bootleggers in rural
Virginia during the Depression. Why uneven?
Well, for starters, let’s talk accents. Five of the stars are either English or
Australian —Tom Hardy as family head Forrest Bondurant; Guy Pearce as the splendidly creepy villain Charlie Rakes; Mia Wasikowska as Bertha, the shy daughter of the preacher; Jason Clarke (hard-drinking Howard Bondurant); and Gary Oldman (gangster Floyd Banner).

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Too Good To Object

Movies: ‘The Intouchables’

This familiar story, “The Intouchables,” is rendered so well, with a few unexpected twists and, yes, a light touch, that it feels fresh and avoids (almost) all the pitfalls of sentimentality and racial stereotypes.
Driss (Omar Sy), a charismatic, streetwise, African immigrant in Paris, is dragooned into becoming the caretaker for Philippe (Francois Cluzet) a very wealthy white quadriplegic. He didn’t actually want the job. He had to apply in order to qualify for government benefits, and Philippe likes his lighthearted insolence.

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Gorgeous, Clever and Long

Movies: 'The Bourne Legacy'
leong@lakevillejournal.com

Set in gorgeously photographed, stunning international locations, “The Bourne Legacy” delivers thrilling action, a new hero and a story that — eventually, more or less — answers questions that the first three films left hanging. And it does so without Matt Damon’s amnesiac, little-boy-lost Jason Bourne or virtuosic action director Paul Greengrass, who filled the last two Bourne outings with jittery camera work, a sense of nonstop propulsion and some of the finest action sequences ever filmed.

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Whatever You Thought, This Movie Is Different

Movies: ‘Hope Springs’

It is the name of a fictional town in coastal Maine where everyone knows the legendary couples counselor, Dr. Feld, played by Steve Carell (“The 40-year-old Virgin,” “Evan Almighty,” etc.) We must be in for big laughs, right? Wrong!
Into the picture come Kay and Arnold (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones), whose 31-year marriage has ossified into a single fried egg and a strip of bacon that never touch, or at least that is the metaphorical version which constitutes the breakfast Kay makes for Arnold every morning.

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Strange and Misanthropic, Yes. Also ‘Ted’ Is Hilarious

Movies: ‘Ted’

This movie, “Ted,” the first feature film from “Family Guy”creator Seth MacFarlane, is dour, crass, cynical, offensive, immature, misanthropic, politically incorrect. It is also whimsically charming and, until its final minutes, very, very funny.

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