Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), 3 more credits »
Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
As you can discern from the title, there’s a lot of action in this concluding installment: humans, dwarves, elves and one little hobbit face the evil Orcs in a massive fight for Middle-earth. Director Peter Jackson is a master storyteller, able to deftly weave massive spectacle with moments of personal sentiment. Martin Freeman (in the title role) charms with his whimsical personality. The fantasy world is visually dazzling and the pacing seldom lags, although the battles and the concluding drama go on too long. If you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll be thrilled with this grand finale.
GAY ANGLE: Two or three handsome men help make the hordes of unattractive creatures more interesting.
Director: Bennett Miller
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Stars: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo
This is one of those dramas where everybody pulls out their best acting chops and in this case, it paid off. Channing Tatum plays an solemn Olympic wrestler, who’s solicited to train with eccentric, rich John du Pont (Steve Carell). Mark Ruffalo is the older brother, whose relationship is crucial. Carell not only appended the giant schnoz to transform his look, he also assumed a halting, dark demeanor that’s both compelling and creepy. Ruffalo turns in an expected involving performance and Tatum’s jumped to a new level with his physical and emotional transformation: touchingly tough and sweet. The story moves at a deliberate pace and could get tedious if it weren’t for the riveting performances and astounding story (which is based on fact).
GAY ANGLE: Tatum is at his butch beefiest and maybe more (!).
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.