“Jersey Boys”

A good alternative if you can’t see the Broadway hit about the Four Seasons but otherwise- see the show!!!!

Kudos to 84 year old Clint Eastwood- still trying new things. “Jersey Boys” is Clint Eatswood’s first musical. Other than an effortless Christopher Walken (as a mob boss) Eastwood intentionally cast movie unknowns. John Llyod Young reprises his Broadway Tony-award winning role as Frankie Valli. It’s incredible how much he sounds like Vali. Two other members of the Four Seasons come from the national tours: Michael Lomenda and Erich Bergen. Vincent Piazza of “Boardwalk Empire” plays firebrand and low-level mobster Tommy DeVito, the founder of the group. The movie is almost as much about him as Frankie Valli.

Playing at times like a “Behind The Music” episode, the film follows the guys from the wrong side of the tracks of Belleville, New Jersey who formed the iconic 60’s group. As in the Broadway show, the characters, at times, break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience , telling their version of the story.

Unlike most musicals, the characters don’t just break out randomly in song and dance- until the closing credits which are a MUST – if only for the pleasure of watching the graceful dance moves of Christopher Walken. The Four Seasons music is played out organically in scenes from recording sessions and concerts. That’s a refreshing change from most movie musicals.

Still, the movie has the feel of a theater show brought to screen, rather than a screen interpretation . It feels like a caricature at times. The early scenes, especially, lack energy and feel cartoonish and stilted.

What’s great is the music and especially the talent of John Lloyd Young. If you can’t see the show, by all means, see the movie. The story alone will be a surprise to most. But be prepared to invest some time. It runs almost 2-and-a-quarter hours.

2-and-a-half stars.

Third Person

From the director of the Oscar-winning “Crash”: another intersecting tale- this time a story of love and loss.

A stellar ensemble cast stars in this 2-plus hour brutal look at flawed love – both romantic love and parent-child love , filmed in New York, Paris and Rome.

Olivia Wilde has never been better, showcasing her dramatic chops as the younger erratic lover of a Pulitzer Prize winning blocked novelist, Liam Neeson. And she also showcases her body- the full monty . Not once- but twice.

Oscar winner Adrian Brody falls for a gypsy (played by Israeli actress Moran Atias) who may or may not be conning him- the irony being he’s a con artist of sorts himself, stealing fashion designs.

Mila Kunis is stunning as a young mom fighting ex-hubby and famous New York artist James Franco for custody of their young son.

Maria Bello and Kim Basinger have smaller but pivotal roles. Bello, especially, is sensational .

What gets in the way of a biting script and intriguing interlinking, storyline (children being at the heart of all) is director/writer Paul Haggis’s artsiness. It’s as if he throws in things just to mess with your head. But the monkey wrenches he throws in take you right out of the movie, in WTF moments . They make no sense at all. Pay close, close attention because subtle clues are thrown in from time to time which not only piece the 3 stories together but answer begging questions.

This is a bold movie- a movie definitely for adults.

3 stars