Archives for October 2010

ARCHIVES

Red

Doesn't get out much
Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman
Directed by Robert Schwentke

They were trying to sneak that one past me. The first Bowen Rule of Cinema: There has never been a good movie that contains the phrase “Copy that.” But what if they say, “roger that,” instead? What then? Does the rule apply? Let’s face it: from the first spunkless assault-team cliché amid Bruce Willis’ suburban Christmas decorations “Red” had ‘copy that’ written all over it. But it took awhile ... more >

Conviction

Can we please talk about it?
Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell and Minnie Driver
Directed by Tony Goldwyn

Why are so few people talking about “Conviction”? Is it boring to talk about Hilary Swank being very strong in a quintessentially awards-style role? Over-awarded or not, it shouldn’t stop talk of how real and involving she is as Betty Anne Waters, a Massachusetts waitress who saves her imprisoned brother by becoming a lawyer and absolving him of murder. Swank is sturdy as the accidental ... more >

REVIEW – Carlos

[rating=3] For this major undertaking director French director Olivier Assayas ("Summer hours") spent two years researching his subject with the help of reporter Stephen Smith; final cost of the project? A mere nineteen million. “Carlos,” which in its original iteration lasted five hours and thirty-three minutes (the Cannes screening lasted that long, a major commitment for the journalist in ... more >

Picture This

The fashion world: from a different angle
Sara Ziff, Karl Lagerfeld and Nicole Miller
Directed by Sara Ziff

Picture Me: A Model’s Diary follows Sara Ziff, a young model at the top of the fashion world, as she falls first in and then out of love with this stunningly inhuman industry. The daughter of a professor, Ziff comes from an educated and well-off family and her decision to go into modeling has put her at odds with her parents’ expectations. When the films starts she is nineteen and, having ... more >

Secretariat

The triple-crown threat
Diane Lane, John Malkovich and Dylan Baker
Directed by Randall Wallace

Poor Sham. In 1973, the magnificent chocolate stallion ran the second fastest time in the history of the Kentucky Derby. His mark remains to this day. He probably had the talent to win horse racing’s Triple Crown. Instead, he has gone down as the forgotten rival to a horse whose only real competition was the limits of reality. There is a very good movie to be made about Sham, an artsy, ... more >

FESTBEAT-Meek’s Cutoff

At the New York Film Festival

Meek’s Cutoff defies easy description but if you can imagine an adaptation of the video game “Oregon Trail” being directed by Terence Malick you’ll be in the ballpark. It’s a beautifully-shot but languidly-paced, thinly-plotted Western that is light on character, even lighter on dialogue (there’s practically none for the first ten minutes), and heavy on atmosphere. You can probably already tell ... more >

Devil

First they argue then they die
Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green and Jenny O'Hara
Directed by John Eric Dowdle

Although Devil was written but not directed by M. Night Shyamalan his influence is palpable throughout. Just like with Signs and The Village the story centers around a small group of people held in confined surroundings and battling an unknown menace. The difference with previous Shyamalan vehicles is that Devil is cast with only five people who spend the length of the film stuck together in an ... more >