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George At 

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Featured Movie Reviews

The Walk

I can't remember the last time a film moved me in the deep way that Robert Zemeckis' new film THE WALK did in all its IMAX 3D visual brilliance.

Zemeckis tells the true story of French wire walker Philippe Petit, who followed his dream to walk between the twin World Trade Center towers in 1974, just before they opened.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is excellent as Petit, changing his look yet again and adopting a believable French accent to play the eccentric, passionate artist. Charlotte Le Bon (last seen in The Hundred Foot Journey) plays Petit's girlfriend who becomes his co-conspirator, James Badge Dale plays his sidekick JP and Ben Kingsley is Papa Rudy, a famous circus artist who trains Philippe in the wire but sees a conviction and talent in him that surpasses all measure.

Zemeckis makes strong artistic choices in telling this true story. Gordon-Levitt spends much of the film narrating events directly to the viewer while perched in the Statue of Liberty's torch, the twin towers always looming just behind him.

Early scenes telling of Petit's youth and early years feature black and white scenes touched with color, wild visual interpretations and a blend of realism and fantasy sequences that are very well done. Kingsley's portrayal is big and old fashioned, but never took me out of the film.

Nothing can prepare you for the 3D IMAX experience of Petit and his team mounting the towers and preparing for his walk between them.

Zemeckis and his visual effects team are truly the best in the industry, recreating the World Trade Center inside and out in 100% photo realistic scenes that are every bit as cutting edge in film history as Zemeckis' pioneering film making techniques in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", "The Polar Express", "Castaway" and "Back to the Future".

As Petit steps out on the wire between the buildings, with clouds sweeping by him (and you in 3D), you will feel every bit of the height, the tension and the emotion of his amazing walk.

The camera looks straight down at his feet on the wire and you see the plaza between the towers, the birds flying far below and the tiny Manhattan taxis and pedestrians FAR below.

Zemeckis, as Petit did before him, pays honor and tribute to the twin towers, emotionally connecting the event to them and all the tragedy that would follow nearly three decades later.

While most viewers will know how the film ends (and if you don't, I'm certainly not going to spoil it for you here) the amount of tension that Zemeckis creates during the 20 minute walk sequence is amazing. It's some of the best editing and pacing in recent film memory and this is certainly one of the best bio-pics in decades.

We have always loved New York CIty and spent a great deal of time there, pre and post 9-11. Between those memories and witnessing an artist realizing his vision many stories above the city, THE WALK is truly moving and powerful.

It would appear that audiences are somewhat ignoring the movie based on the box office numbers.

My best advice, if you are a fan of NYC or of great filmmaking is that you find an IMAX 3D presentation near you and see this film as soon as you can before its gone.

It's a special film that we'll never forget.

The final moments are a pitch perfect tribute to the towers and THE WALK is a stirring tribute to an artist with an amazing dream and talented filmmakers with the true vision to tell his story. A+

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