Director: Peter Berg
Writers: Peter Berg, Marcus Luttrell (book)
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch
It’s obvious from the title that most of the men don’t survive, but the operation is what matters. Four Navy SEALs set out to kill a Taliban leader in Afghanistan, but the mission goes horribly wrong. The film takes some time to set up, but once the action kicks in, it’s a gripping ordeal (especially those remarkable tumbles down the rocks). Director Peter Berg has crammed the skirmishes with confusion, astounding kills and high-tension pacing. These are some of the best battles in recent filmmaking. The cast is strong (in both senses of the word), while miming moments of emotion. A brutal, well-crafted and stirring tribute.
GAY ANGLE: The first few minutes at base are full of testosterone and hot men.
August: Osage County
Director: John Wells
Writer: Tracy Letts (screenplay)
Stars: Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts
It’s sacrilege to imply that Meryl Streep could ever overact, but she certainly indulges herself with this sick (in both senses of the word) and mean mother. Director John Wells’ lingering camera just adds to the problem. This is a family drama in every sense of the word. After a major crisis, the siblings and other relatives come home to cram a lot of cataclysmic revelations into two hours. Everybody gets their moment so shine (or suffer) and the performances are sincere. The whole thing just feels forced and flat, lacking the powerful emotional effect that this much turmoil should create. It’s not bad or boring, just not brilliant.
GAY ANGLE: Dermot Melroney is still sexy and Benedict Cumberbatch plays a nerd.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.