Collateral Beauty is a story about grief, recovery and redemption – themes also found in Kenneth Lonergan’s brilliant Manchester By Sea. It angered me because it appeared to be an entirely different movie than the one suggested by the trailers – and by being a remarkably treacly film on its own merits.
Howard Inlet has suffered a terrible personal tragedy and dealing with it by writing letters – to Love, Time and Death. He is not expecting a personal response.
Collateral Beauty stars Will Smith, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Jacob Lattimore, Michael Pena, Naomie Harris and Helen Mirren. It opens on December 16th. Check out the first trailer after the break.
Dr. Bennett C. Omalu is the Nigerian-American coroner who identified the brain damage that was the cause of mental health issues for ex-NFL players. The story is, as they used to say, ‘ripped from the headlines’ – and given that the NFL has just backed out of a concussion study at a Boston University, its release could not have been timelier.
Heist and caper movies rely on manipulating what we see and hear in such a way that we see and hear everything we need to know without realizing that we’ve done so. In spite of some pacing problems and an occasional overabundance of flash (a tricky balance that writer/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa don’t always get right), Focus pulls off its caper with a certain amount of verve and panache.
The story comes from Will Smith and he and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith are among its producers – so there’s definitely the possibility that After Earth is some hybrid of vanity/ego project. While it’s not the greatest movie Smith has ever been in (see: Wild Wild West), neither is it the turkey that director M. Night Shyamalan’s last several movies have been.
What it is, is a sweet, middling-to-decent father/son, mentor/protégé story couched in sci-fi adventure trappings.