Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Donnie Darko

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Donnie Darko doesn’t start where you think it does.  It starts with the timeless question, Why do bad things happen to good people?  What good could there be, for example, in the random death of an innocent kid?  Donnie Darko tackles this question by showing us what would have happened if said kid hadn’t died.  Don’t worry–no spoilers here.  It would be almost impossible to spoil a movie this alive with weird particularity.  Too often, when we wonder about that innocent kid in the newspaper’s obit section, he remains an abstract good, his death an abstract injustice, the future he missed out on a vaguely imagined good future, doubtlessly preferable to his early end.  Not so in Donnie Darko’s universe.  Donnie’s world is full of miracles and odd homework assignments, family rancor and psychiatry sessions, strange gurus and neighbors.  Everyone in this film is the center of his or her own world, which realistic touch makes it matter all the more when we see how their lives are affected by the life and death of that innocent kid.  Donnie asks the timeless question.  God answers in a bunny costume, and shows him the answer on a movie screen.  Amazingly, the answer satisfies.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Just, ditto:

Roger Ebert’s review of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Revolutionary Road? More Like Devolutionary Road

Monday, March 15th, 2010

I expected this movie’s characters to come across as paper dolls, an effete outsider’s best guess at what a doomed suburban family looks like.  And I have to say, after the first fight scene, outside the car at the rest stop, I was bracing for a very stage-y script and three hours of unconvincing sparks (for the convincing kind of stage-y sparks between husband and wife, check out Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf).  (more…)

B Minus Man

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I’m a victim of my own good fortune, which is to say, I’ve been spoiled.  Had I not recently burned through, or been burned through by, the first four seasons of Dexter, I might have walked away from 1999’s Minus Man with a greater appreciation of the originality with which the film treats its serial killer, Vann Siegert.  On its own merits, the movie does provide many pleasures, but in each case, a gremlin of inconsistency sneaks into the picture.  I owe you several examples, so here goes: (more…)

2009 Films in Review

Monday, March 8th, 2010

2009 didn’t see me seeing a lot of 2009 movies, if you catch my drift… here, however, are the ones I did see and what I took away from each: (more…)

On “Knowing”

Monday, December 21st, 2009

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” –Paul

“The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” –Ezekiel

(SPOILERS AHEAD) I just watched the recent Proyas film Knowing again with my seven-year-old son, Hal.  Within the first 30 minutes, prior to any big-scale CGI destruction, he had it pegged as a sci-fi film, and the strange men in black coats as aliens.  Later, at the first mention of solar flares, he predicted that humanity would have to go underground to survive.  A few minutes thereafter, and well ahead of the big reveal, he spoke up again saying that the whispering aliens were moving to save a select few breeding pairs to take to a safer planet.  How Hal followed the movie so closely, says nothing of the plot’s originality (it is quite original), but much about my son, and much about the mood and logic of the time he was born into.  As the film’s final shot faded, my son sighed, “I LOVE THIS MOVIE.”  The feeling’s mutual. (more…)

Odin’s Frican Balls: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Beowulf

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

The key to Robert Zemeckis’s recent film Beowulf is to understand that it’s an old man’s story. Not so much a story about an old man, as the sort of story an old man would want to tell the youngsters around him. And not a story told by just any old man, but by one with a great sense of humor, a great sense of regret, and a great memory of what it’s like to be young. (more…)

Atlas Plugged: Defending Iron Man from Gold Woman

Monday, May 5th, 2008

“Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.” –Hermann Goering (more…)