But while the movie's crystal ball-inspired doodads, gewgaws and thingamajigs are perhaps sublimated to suggest the deal with the Devil they insinuate, the profoundness of what might come to be is spookily evoked in Pitt's performance. His embodiment of the hero it'd take to navigate the Big Brother-inspired anxieties of this prophesied world is sublimely perceptive.
We are reminded yet again how little we've evolved since first we rose from the primordial mud. But methinks there's more to the deplorable modus operandi of the moneyed bigwigs who make like smalltime Caligulas at the uptown strip joints.
Director Julius Onah, who co-wrote the screenplay with J.C. Lee, puts the tension level to the metal, intriguingly casting aspersions like so many crumbs upon the water, and in the process testing our ability to separate cogent facts from those that have been artfully manipulated.
Yep, it's all packed in there: a feel-good saga of a likable young man fashioning his own great expectations, a swell score populated with The Boss' hits, and a humanistic message there for your illumination, provided you don't allow yourself to be "Blinded by the Light."
This isn't a great motion picture by any stretch of the imagination. It's a 2 & 1/2. Yet man does not live by "Citizen Kane" (1941) alone. The films we really, really like often say more about us than the subject matter into which they delve.
Personally affecting, "The Farewell" is a little movie with a big heart. And, because it's PG and suggested for the whole family, this is a perfect opportunity to make sure that spoiled little grandchild in your clan doesn't become the only freshman at Princeton who hasn't seen a subtitled movie.
Although most of the world is by now familiar with the saga, the combination of resplendent landscapes and superb voicing of the magnificently imaged players breathes a reinvigorating spirit into the franchise.
Like the cavemen in "Quest for Fire" (1981) who are committed to literally keeping the flame of life burning, Jack sees himself as the emissary from a time lost — the sole repository of the poetic genius that was The Beatles.
The brazenly oddball mechanisms he employs to build the scenario and make his points draw us into the nuttiness of his premise with the magnetic appeal of that naughtily mischievous kid who lived on your block.
The essence of the late-night talk show is much more than what is visible to the drowsy eye. It is about the magic that can exist within the art of conversation. And in "Late Night," Emma Thompson as TV host Katherine Newbury, a practitioner in that black art, illustriously takes us behind the smoke and mirrors of keeping folks up past their bedtime.