Hidden Gems: Amazon Prime 2
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (4.5 Stars)
Released in 2008, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an epic fantasy filled with wonderful performances. Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) is born as an elderly man who ages in reverse, living a backwards life while still encountering love and adventure. The screenplay provides a unique premise that is fully fleshed out with a plethora of interesting characters, as well as engaging storylines. Brad Pitt delivers the best work of his career, convincingly embodying a single character for the entire spectrum of a lifetime. Top notch makeup and visual effects, along with an incredible cast, allow this fantastical tale to succeed, providing a prime example of the capabilities of moviemaking as a form of original art and entertainment.
Minority Report (4 Stars)
Released in 2002, Minority Report is an entertaining sci fi action flick that possesses a thought-provoking premise. Set in 2054 Washington D.C., a new elite unit of law enforcement known as Precrime prevents murders before they can occur. John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is the head of this unit until it is predicted that he will commit a murder, forcing him to go on the run in an attempt to clear his name. Cruise gives his great physical action hero performance that we have become accustomed to, and the interesting storyline hooks the audience from beginning to end. This is a film with cool action set pieces, colorful characters, and solid world building that is sure to entertain fans of the genre.
Danny Collins (3.5 Stars)
Released in 2015, Danny Collins is a charming rock star redemption tale. The story follows the titular Danny Collins (Al Pacino), a hugely famous, yet aging, rock star, as he attempts to reconnect with his estranged son (Bobby Cannavale). Al Pacino leads the way, oozing charisma as the central figure and holding the viewer’s attention throughout. The predictable screenplay provides a sense of heart and is elevated by engaging supporting performances from Annette Bening and Jennifer Garner, along with some good music to create a fun, emotionally stirring tour with this fictional icon.
Red Lights (3 Stars)
Released in 2012, Red Lights is a suspenseful film shrouded in mystery. Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and physicist Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) work as investigators of paranormal phenomena, studying activities and exposing frauds. When the famous blind psychic, Simon Silver (Robert DeNiro), reemerges after many years in retirement Tom sets his sights on investigating him. The interesting premise provides the strength of the film, shining a scientific light on paranormal ideas. Although the story falters at times it is overall a strong one that provides plenty of intrigue and cool moments. The cast delivers quality work that along with a good climax create a fun watch.
Seberg (3 Stars)
Released in 2019, Seberg is an incredible real-life story carried by an impressive lead portrayal. Kristen Stewart plays Jean Seberg, a popular actress who became a target of the FBI in the late 1960s as a result of her civil rights activism. Kristen Stewart is amazing as the central figure of this story, disappearing within the role and effectively displaying the character’s downward spiral as the FBI effectively destroyed her career. The film is a bit of a missed opportunity, as there is so much to this fascinating story that the screenplay chooses to leave for the end credits. This 1 hour and 42-minute film could have been much longer and would have benefitted with a more engaging product, yet the end result is still an interesting story with an incredible performance.