At The Movies - Quartet

An absolutely fine film; see it when you can

At the Movies

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Four Saw Blades! See it!

That may be my shortest movie review ever. This film is absolutely fine.

“Quartet” is billed as a comedy, and thanks largely to Billy Connolly as Wilf, a cheerful, lecherous opera singer, it does have moments of laugh out loud humor. But for me it is also a wise and clever drama, which explores some unlooked at nooks and crannies of the human condition.

In England there is a retirement home for broke musicians, including three retired opera singers, Wilf, Cissy and Regie. These are played by very well-practiced actors, respectively Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay.

Wilf does and says as he pleases and blames it on a stroke, which “took away my power to edit my speech.” Cissy is slipping rapidly into dementia with cheery daftness and Regie is trying to live his last years with some bits of dignity.

Into this trio slams Maggie Smith as a world scale Diva, who naturally knew the others very well, including Regie, to whom she was once briefly married.

Add in Michael Gambon as the bombastic director of the annual gala where the musicians put on an event for the public and we have plenty to work with.

These actors have polished their skills for 50 years or longer and it is a very great pleasure to watch them.

The movie is based on a play by Ronald Harwood, who also wrote the screenplay. In this case, having the original writer also produce the movie screenplay worked as well as it is possible to work. Harwood writes a scene for Tom Courtenay where Regie explains rap and opera to a young hip-hop fan that is brilliant.

I love good writing. I say ditto for the direction.

Oddly for a man with such a long career in the flickers, Dustin Hoffman made his directorial debut with “Quartet.” Not surprisingly for a man with his talent, intelligence and vast experience, his debut is a triumph.

Hoffman also produced this excellent film.

“Quartet” was produced on a tiny budget. The extras were also people who lived in the retirement home, which saved some money. The actors reportedly did their own singing — they are a quartet after all — which made it even more fun.

Hoffman as producer will surely be happy with the $53 million worldwide gross. This excellent PG-13 film runs one hour and 38 minutes.

“Quartet” is another successful, well done film, which is produced by older folks for the enjoyment of older folks. There are enough of us now that Hollywood is making movies that we will enjoy. I like that.

I also like that “Iron Man” in 3-D is at the Sawmill Theatres, so there you are.

Iron Man 3

Bold, action-packed, funny

Anthony Tantimonaco

Teen reviewer

That’s right all you Marvel fans, “Iron Man” is back, and better than ever, the third installment of “Iron Man” easily tops the others.

“Iron Man 3” follows the events of “The Avenger” where Tony Stark is haunted by the memories, causing him to have anxiety attacks. If that’s not bad enough old “friends” of Tony from 1999 come back into his life and begin to cause even more trouble.

Tony Stark/Iron Man is once again portrayed by the famous Robert Downey Jr. And let me tell you, his performance is at its best in this film.

Also returning to one of his most famous roles is Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes, and once again it’s a very fine job. This movie also stars the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow returning as Pepper Potts.

You all remember Guy Pearce from “Bedtime Stories,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” “The King’s Speech,” “Prometheus,” and many more. In “Iron Man 3” Pearce portrays the role of Aldrich Killian, the head of A.I.M.

Last, but not least, we have Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. Ben Kingsley goes all out on this role to give a spooky, yet funny performance.

For all you Marvel comic books fans, this is defiantly the movie for you. “Iron Man 3” is loosely based off of “Extremis” the six-issue epic “Iron Man” series. The graphics they use for the Extremis are amazing and look real enough that it looks like it could be possible.

“Iron Man 3” has incredible graphics, is wildly entertaining, and much different in storyline than the others. Most times when they stray from the formula used for the other movies, it doesn’t end well, but that’s not the case for this one.

I would recommend this movie for all ages. It is funny, entertaining and chock full of action, so please go see it

(P.S. “Iron Man 3” looks amazing in Sawmill Theatres new 3-D!). Also be sure to stick around after the credits, you won’t regret it.

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