Movies: Live By Night, Patriot’s Day, Neruda

Live By Night

It was the Roaring ’20s and Prohibition was in full swing.  This is a story of rum running from Florida to Boston, power, corruption, the KKK, religion and so much more.

It boasts a great cast.  Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Scott Eastwood, Brendan Gleeson and Remo Girone.  It is visually stunning, a throw back to an earlier style of film making.

It is not perfect, though.  It tends to get a little lost in itself, and some parts are confusing.  The critics scored the film good but not great.  Audiences were not so kind and were less than 50% favorable.

We liked it overall.  Ben Affleck wrote the screenplay, directed, starred and co-produced this movie.  It is listed as a Crime/Drama.  It is rated R for sexual content and violence.  It runs a whopping 2 hours, 8 minutes.

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Patriot’s Day

Patriot’s Day is a recreation of the April 15, 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon.  The attention to detail is impressive and disturbing at the same time. The focus on the personal trauma and the aftermath was a grim reminder of those real events.

The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, and Michelle Monaghan among several others.  The angst, tension, pressure and fear were captured and delivered with skill and compassion.

This film is listed as a Drama/Thriller with an R rating for violence and graphic images.  Some if it was difficult to watch.  Run time is 2 hours, 13 minutes.  It is not suitable for young children.

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Neruda

This is the story of the Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda.  It takes place in 1948 when Chile was struggling with democracy, communism and the emerging dictatorship of Pinochet.

Ultimately it is the story of the struggle between political authority and the creative arts mixed with class warfare between the privileged elite and the struggling working class.

There is a huge cast of characters.  Most notably Gael Garcia Bernal as the relentless detective, Luis Gnecco as Neruda and Mercedes Moran as his steadfast wife.

The cat and mouse plot is lengthy but far from boring.  It journeys from refuge to hideout to exile.  The story is unorthodox, filled with idiosyncrasies and ironies of the human ideals.

It is listed as a Biography/Drama.  It is rated R for nudity and violence.  It runs 1 hour and 47 minutes.  Spanish with English subtitles.

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