Sunday, December 8, 2013

Film Reviews: December 8, 2013

Here is a summary of the film reviews from today's show:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire matches and in many ways exceeds its predecessor. Although a lot of moments in the Hunger Games sequel are familiar both from the first film and from this genre in general, it does those conventions much better than a lot of other pictures.

Delivery Man is acceptable as a feel-good holiday bauble of a film. As a warm and gooey family story, Delivery Man will entertain the crowds who like this kind of thing but its story is undeniably sloppy and the issues in it deserve a much better and more thoughtful presentation than they are given here.

There isn’t very much in theaters these days for viewers who are seeking a religious story or musical entertainment. Because of that absence, Black Nativity manages to fill a void in the movie marketplace but the picture isn’t very good and holiday audiences deserve better.

Dallas Buyers Club is a terrifically made picture not just as an AIDS drama but in terms of dramatic moviemaking. The performances by McConaughey and Leto are some of the best of both actors' careers and the film is a compelling and involving story.

How to Survive a Plague is an important documentary film. It’s a valuable historical document that manages to distill a long and complicated issue into a discernable narrative. It’s also an exceptionally well made film that balances expository information with the human struggles of AIDS.

You can find the full reviews in the Sounds of Cinema review archive.