A Prophet is an uncompromising masterpiece; however, I found myself fixated on the film’s violence. I believe there are three main approaches to violence in cinema.
Kick-Ass is based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar. Millar also wrote the similarly themed Wanted; however, the violence in Kick-Ass makes Wanted seem like a walk in the park.
Every once and a while a film’s premise is so outrageous that it is surprising that no one has thought of it before. Hot Tub Time Machine is one of these rare pictures; however, director Steve Pink does not capitalize on of the film’s set up.
Beeswax is the third film from writer/director Andrew Bujalski. This is the first time that Bujalski has decided to stay entirely behind the camera instead of playing one of the film’s key roles.
The Greatest is the debut feature film by Shana Feste. The movie falls into many of the cinematic trappings other first time filmmakers experience. Events unfold predictably, and without any primary defining features.
Greenberg is the new film by Noah Baumbach. Baumbach’s 2005 feature, The Squid and the Whale, made my short list of the best films of the last decade.
Jeff Bridges is an amazing actor, but his turn as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart is a strangely conflicted role. Somehow Bridges is likeable in almost every role he plays. Bad Blake is mostly a bad man, but I doubt most people come away from the film feeling that way.
The Ghost Writer is similar in tone to Polanski’s Chinatown; however, there is a key difference between the two films. While the protagonist in Chinatown was charismatic and demanding, the protagonist in The Ghost Writer is like a blank slate.
Out of all the movies that came out in 2009, Precious may be the one with the most raw emotion. The arguments between Precious and her mother are as brutal as any I’ve ever seen in the world of cinema. Even if the film is truthful, it also becomes repetitive. Abuse is constant. Precious is raped, physically assaulted, and verbally abused. These events do not even begin to summarize the horror of the film.
The comparisons people have been making to Jerry Maguire seem fair. Up in the Air sees George Clooney filling the Tom Cruise role. Both characters have to take a journey to find what is actually important in life.
In the Loop focuses primarily on British government but the same bizarre actions of government can be applied to all public bodies. Iannucci’s film also takes a look at the role of the mystery men in politics, but does so more directly.
Essentially 500 Days of Summer is the story of how two people learn to grow in spite of their relationship. Tom makes a real attempt to define himself, just as I’m sure Marc Webb was trying to do with his debut film.
Astro Boy is a 65 million, big-budget release by Summit, but didn’t come close to making back its money in theaters. Of course none of that really matters much, the real question is whether or not Astro Boy is a good film. I think it is a movie that very young kids might enjoy, but I don’t think it would attract people beyond the family market, unlike the Pixar® animated films.
This year, Scherfig established herself in the industry as the director of An Education. While An Education was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture, most of the focus has been on the cast, and Scherfig seems somewhat overlooked.
Perhaps The Blind Side has been so successful because it reaches out to everyone. It stresses a simple message. We are not so different.