Saturday, February 1, 2014

Labor Day Review

January was a mean month for movie fans. Every time I wanted to watch a movie, there was nothing appealing out of the new releases. And when I did check out the new releases, they ended up being not so good. Yes, January is typically a dumping ground for movies, but this year especially seemed to be the case. Fortunately, though, I kept myself entertained by all the Oscar-nominated films, so it wasn't a complete loss. However, I've been waiting longingly for the first good movie of 2014. I have finally found it in a movie that came out on the very last day of January. Although, technically Labor Day was a 2013 release, but that was only for the last week of December in a few theaters in order to officially qualify for Oscar nominations. But meh, semantics.

My first thought when I heard about this movie was that it should've come out around Labor Day, not right before Valentines Day and President's Day. But I guess the filmmakers didn't want to be cheesy like that, because the movie doesn't really have much to do with Labor Day, outside the story taking place on Labor Day weekend of course. The movie is based on the book of the same title written by Joyce Maynard. I have not read the book, so I have nothing to compare to. The movie is a romantic drama starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Frank (Brolin) is a recently escaped prisoner who comes up to Adele (Winslet) and her son and essentially forces his way into their lives. Quickly, both find out that Frank is not the man they think he is. He is in fact a great family man who treats both of them with a ton of respect and claims that the story the police and media tell about him isn't the full story.

Is this a chick flick? Well, I suppose it kinda is, but I like the term romantic drama a lot more to describe this. Usually chick flicks are boring, cheesy, and predictable, all following the same exact plot structure. This is none of those. Brolin and Winslet do an excellent acting job. Winslet does well at playing a mentally scarred woman after her previous marriage ended rather tragically. Brolin does well at playing a man that is just super awesome and helpful in every way. Then the movie is actually fairly tense because you keep being reminded that Brolin is a fugitive, and so every time a police officer drives by or a neighbor knocks on the door, your heart nearly stops. Also making the movie even better is the son, played by Gattlin Griffith. In addition to following the story between Winslet and Brolin, we dive into the life this 12-year-old boy and all the stuff he is going through.

Yes, there may be a few logistic of the movie that one would question if one needed a perfectly realistic movie, but overall this is a great story. On top of that, it is also a beautiful movie in terms of cinematography and music. Overall, I walked out of the movie very pleased and would highly recommend this movie to both male and female. See it on Valentine's Day. See it on President's Day. Heck, you can even watch it when Labor Day actually rolls around. But give it a shot. I give Labor Day a very strong 8 out of 10.

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