The Movie Waffler New Release Reviews - Silver Linings Playbook / End of Watch / The Bay | The Movie Waffler

New Release Reviews - Silver Linings Playbook / End of Watch / The Bay

Silver Linings Playbook
Directed by: David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver, Julia Stiles

Cooper moves in with his parents (De Niro and Weaver) after being released from a psychiatric institution. He's determined to get back with the ex-wife whose cheating led to his incarceration and uses young widower Lawrence to help him achieve this.
Russell's previous movie, 'The Fighter', was a boxing movie for those who consider themselves too sophisticated to watch such a thing. Likewise his latest is a rom-com laced with mocking irony. Replace Cooper and Lawrence with Katherine Heigl and Matthew McConaughey and the film would be indistinguishable from any cookie-cutter chick flick. At least the writers of those films have some understanding of story-telling and pacing, unlike Russell whose film is an overlong mess with an exposition laden script. 
All the tropes of the Hollywood rom-com are on display; a lead character with a "cute" affliction, racial stereotypes, and characters who wouldn't be remotely attractive were they not played by good-looking actors. If you want to see how this sort of thing should be done, watch 'Buffalo 66' instead. 
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) on IMDb 8.3/10

End of Watch
Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, David Harbour
Gyllenhaal and Pena are two L.A beat cops with a reputation for getting results through slightly unethical means. It's a cliche from the off but the two leads are likeable even if they are playing slightly reprehensible characters. What ruins the film is the decision to employ a found-footage aesthetic. It's clumsily mixed in with standard camerawork and renders many scenes, particularly those involving action, unwatchable. Had this been filmed by a director who knew what he was doing, it would have been the best cop movie for many a year. As it is it's merely headache inducing.
End of Watch (2012) on IMDb 7.9/10

The Bay
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Kether Donohue, Christopher Denham
When so-called "respectable" film-makers make an attempt at the horror genre, it rarely yields positive results. Levinson is the latest to show a complete lack of what makes horror work with this found-footage flick with an environmental message. 
The residents of a small coastal town are struck down by minute sea creatures who have infected the water supply. We've seen a lot of boring found-footage movies but this really takes the biscuit, mainly consisting of characters speaking to camera about the horror of what's occurring. Back to dramas Mister Levinson, this clearly isn't your domain.
The Bay (2012) on IMDb 5.5/10