Emperor is based on the book “His Majesty’s Salvation” by Shiro Okamoto. When WWII ended and the Japanese had surrendered, General Fellers (Matthew Fox) was given 10 days to weed through the intricate web of power surrounding the Emperor and detain the men responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was also ordered to figure out whether or not Emperor Hirohito was a war criminal and if he should be hanged. During his investigation, Fellers was also on a personal quest to find his missing Japanese girlfriend, Aya (Eriko Hatsune).
This is the first movie of its kind that I have seen. The film was not quite the powerful film that it could have been. However, it was put together nicely, well acted, and well directed.
I thought that the film did an excellent job depicting the ruins of Japan. It was eerie seeing the aftermath of entire cities that had been obliterated.
The movie felt like it was actually taking place right after WWII.
I feel that Matthew Fox has recently proved himself as a capable actor. It was the film Alex Cross (2012) that made me take him seriously. He did a good job in Emperor.
It was yet another no-nonsense role for Tommy Lee Jones and he played the part as well as he always does.
The film did a great job of telling a story that I am sure that a lot of people are not familiar with. If you are a fan of WWII movies like I am, then you will probably enjoy this one. It felt a little slow at times because there are a lot of conversations with translators translating back and forth. They go back and for between that and using subtitles and it makes the film seem longer than it really is.
There is not a whole lot of violence or language and the movie was very tastefully made.
I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
The Family (2013)
Robert De Niro returns to his mafia roots in this film where he plays a former mob boss who enters witness protection to protect himself and his family from getting whacked. Now they all must try to adapt to leading normal, average lives and this proves to be difficult.
Michelle Pfeiffer plays De Niro’s wife and Tommy Lee Jones is the man who put the family in witness protection. The rest of the notable cast includes Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore, Dianna Agron, Joseph Perrino, and John D’leo.
The movie looks like an entertaining dysfunctional drama that could also be good for a few laughs. It has a great cast and some of the best filmmakers in the business are a part of it. That’s good enough for me to want to see.
The film is set to release on 9/13/13.
Lincoln is a very well crafted film. It is Steven Spielberg filmmaking at his best. Even though the film crept along at a snail’s pace, and felt longer than the 2 ½ hours running time, it was definitely worth seeing.
Begin the movie with expectations that it will be slow and long and you will be pleasantly surprised by the Oscar worthy performance of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and his supporting cast of what seemed like an endless number of major character actors such as Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Jackie Earl Haley, John Hawkes, Bruce McGill, Tim Blake Nelson, Jared Harris, etc., etc., and then some. You probably do not recognize half of those names listed, but you will definitely recognize their faces when you see them in the film. Every couple of scenes, I was surprised to see another familiar face of a very likable character actor.
Because so many people hopped aboard the Steven Spielberg train that is Lincoln, I think that the only ones that could win any awards for their performances would be Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg himself, or maybe Tommy Lee Jones.
There did not seem to be a whole lot of character development for any one supporting character and I believe this is because there were almost too many characters to try to develop.
Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Lincoln was amazing. He was the spitting image of Lincoln. Bravo to the makeup crew. It must have taken a couple of hours to make him look like Lincoln every day. If I didn’t know that it was Daniel Day-Lewis acting as Lincoln and you showed me footage from the film, I would have believed it was actually Lincoln.
These days, it is risky to make a film like Lincoln. But without risk there is no reward, and in this case maybe a few awards.
I rate Lincoln an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.