The weekend movie preview features Christian Bale scorching up the screen in Out of the Furnace, as well as another Coen brothers movie classic in Inside Llewyn Davis. Also, Liev Schreiber tries to get off of Mars in Last Days on Mars and Judi Dench shows why she is one of the planet's best in the touching true story Philomena.
Out of the Furnace: Bale and Casey Affleck play brothers in an economically hard hit small rural town in Pennsylvania where hope is at a premium. Affleck is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and doesn't seem to find any joy in life, except when he discovers an underground fighting ring, led by the uber-awful Woody Harrelson. While Bale toils at the local factory, he does his best to try to keep his brother out of trouble. When he goes missing, he suspects the worst... and suspects that Harrelson has something to do with it. As we stated in our Out of the Furnace review, the film is electric, powerful and dark. And it is filled with an ensemble cast who brings their best from Bale, Affleck and Harrelson to Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Forest Whitaker.
Inside Llewyn Davis: The Coen brothers turn their camera on the folk music world of Greenwich Village in the 1960s. Oscar Isaac stars as the title character who has had many chances at fame, but his personality seems to keep him from achieving any. Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake are co-stars, but the standout "star" is T. Bone Burnett, who penned a soundtrack full of 1960s-sounding folk songs that permeate every frame. Our Inside Llewyn Davis review explores it further, but the Coen brothers hit all the right notes... again.
Last Days on Mars: Schreiber is part of a team of scientists on a mission to Mars to discover any signs of life. When they do, all hell breaks loose. But, not in the way so many other sci-fi movies would do so. This time out, it is a virus that infects the crew and makes their return to Earth highly dangerous and extremely unlikely. For more, check out our Last Days on Mars review.
Philomena: Dench is astounding yet again in the true story of a woman who decides that decades of regret over losing her son to adoption, courtesy of the Catholic church, have to be reversed. With a journalist (Stephen Coogan) by her side, she goes on a journey of discovery to find where he is, and to let him know she never stopped loving him. It is an Oscar-worthy performance by Dench, as reported in our Philomena review.