Luhrmann, DiCaprio and Maguire Put The Great Back Into Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby.
Director:
Baz Luhrmann.
Writers: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan.
Where's it playing? Various Metroplex megaplexes.

Lest the trailer didn't already spoil it, you should know this much going in: Visionary director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet) brings spades of his particular brand of grandiosity to his The Great Gatsby adaption. In turn, this version's as much his magnum opus of love and betrayal in the age of excess as it is F. Scott Fitzgerald's.

And, hey, Gatsby's great source material for a man as in love with spectacle as Luhrmann. Anyone who read the book in high school — or, hell, even those who shirked that assignment and watched the 1974 Coppola-penned adaptation starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow — could tell you that about the mysterious Gatsby's star-crossed love affair with Daisy Buchanan (as seen by outsider Old Sport, Nicholas Carraway). What's left for Baz to really bring to a roaring '20s party already filled with sex and drugs?

Well, just as he did with Rouge and R+J, Luhrmann brings rock 'n' roll, pop and plenty of hip-hop to it — and in only the way that he can, by infusing and intertwining these elements so deeply into his narration that hearing half of Watch the Throne strewn throughout the film fits every bit as well as any jazz tune from the era of the film's setting era should.

This is why people go to Lurhmann's films. To see the grand, to see the ornate, to see the excess. And, with Gatsby, he delivers it on a gold platter.

He has help, of course. The film re-teams Luhrmann with his Romeo, Leonardo DiCaprio, 17 years after Romeo + Juliet turned one of them into a powerhouse director and the other a heartthrob and soon-to-be leading man. As Jay Gatsby, DiCaprio reminds us why, even after all this time (and somehow still only at age 39), he remains to be one of the most captivating on-screen presences of his generation. He not only fills the fancy suits of his mysterious millionaire character quite dashingly, but he inhabits the facades of the man, delving to the depths of Gatsby's poignant struggle in such a humanistic way that it would make even F. Scott weep.

Also reunited here are lifelong off-screen friends DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, who plays Gatsbys only chum — and our narrator Nick Carraway — with enough fervor and fire that he almost steals the whole show. It's a nice return to form for Maguire, who hasn't been absent from the screen but has been absent from roles that allow him to show us what a truly fantastic actor he can be.

Don't be surprised one bit if Gatsby earns itself a couple of acting nods for DiCaprio and Maguire come awards season. Be even less surprised if it also scores some costume and set design nominations.

It's not the perfect film. It runs long, its pacing is untailored, and the 3D aspects may be wholly unnecessary for the most part. But Luhrmann's lavish Gatsby is at least more than just a good one that rides the seersucker coattails of Fitzgerald's masterpiece.

This director. This cast. This material. Together they all add up to more than just a good Gatsby.

Actually, this Gatsby's pretty great.

Score: 8 out of 10 eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg.

Peeples.
Director:
Tina Gordon Chism.
Writer: Tina Gordon Chism.
Cast: Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier.
Where's it playing? Various Metroplex megaplexes.

Tyler Perry has to be involved in this some way, right? Yeah? He produced it? Figures.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) in 35MM.
Director:
Nicholas Meyer.
Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett.
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban.
Where's it playing? Friday through Sunday at the Texas Theatre.

Whether it's to see William Shatnerâ��s meme-worthy delivery of the famous line or Ricardo Montalbanâ��s pecs on the big screen, you should check out Wrath in 35MM in anticipation for Star Trek Into Darkness' release next weekend. Also, so you can scream “Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!” at the top of your lungs.

The Source Family.
Directors:
Maria Demopoulos, Jodi Wille.
Where's it playing? Friday through Sunday at the Texas Theatre.

Los Angeles commune The Source Family's outlandish lifestyle, popular restaurant, rock band and beautiful women made them the darlings of Hollywood's Sunset Strip in the '70s. But their outsider ideals and controversial spiritual leader Father Yod instigated local authorities and forced them to flee to Hawaii. This documentary catches up with resurfaced family members years later when their rock band reforms and they reveal how their time with Father Yod shaped their lives in the most unexpected ways. Friday's screening will be followed by a Q&A with original Source Family member Wave Aquarian.

The Crow.
Director:
Alex Proyas.
Writers: James O'Barr, David J. Schow.
Cast: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson.
Where's it playing? Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at Midnight at the Inwood Theatre

The cult '90s big screen adaptation of the cult comic book (penned by Dallas resident James O�Barr) plays this weekend at The Inwood. Coming in costume strongly encouraged. Bringing your own live crow to the screening is not.

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