Dec 27, 2012

Recent Screening Update

Killing Them Softly (dir. Dominik)
Lacking the poignancy of Dominik's last film, but just as beautifully stylized; lacking the subtlety of that film, too, but compensating with bitter comedy, and an absolutely killer last line. (B+)

Bernie (dir. Linklater)
You wouldn’t know, spending time with these plastic characters, that Bernie is based on a true story. Black tries his best but he can’t wipe the faux sheen from the film's face. (C)

Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomes) (thoughs)
Pure magic incarnate and far and away the best film of 2012. Tabu's enchanting love story and subtle study of post-colonialist aggression puts the audience in a delirious state that's hard to shake off. (A)

Amour (dir. Haneke)
It creeps up on its audience as slowly as death itself. A heartbreaking, disturbingly frank portrayal of everlasting love in the final days of life. (A)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (dir. Jackson)
A thin children's tale stretched over three unbearably bloated and hideous hours. Repetitive and aimless plotting only strengthens the feeling that Jackson's decision to extend the films to a trilogy is motivated by $$. (C-)

Silver Linings Playbook (dir. Russell) (thoughts)
Glaringly flawed, but directed with verve and acted with passion. Russell oversimplifies mental disorder to quirkiness, but exhibits even greater prowess at touching the heart than he did with The Fighter. (A-)

Anna Karenina (dir. Wright)
Enhanced by Wright's vision and the need to creatively overcome financial restrictions, Anna Karenina is vivid, original, luminous and with the exception of Vronsky, superbly performed. Marianelli's score is the best show. (B+)


  1. I'm curious why so many keep mentioning that The Hobbit's expansion to three films is solely for money grabbing purposes so much that it seems even louder accused of that than bloated franchises which are definitely being done only for the money and with no sort of artistic drive behind :(

    Of course, I've not seen it and I suppose economics did play some hand in the expansion, but I feel badly that everyone seems so intent on writing Jackson off for it.

    (Killing Them Softly is this year's Tinker Tailor, a cast of solid male performances and they won't get remembered by the end of the year. Alas, alack.)

  2. I personally don't feel that people are giving this a harder time over any other cash grab film, but if it feels that way, maybe it could be the fact that people simply expected more of Jackson as opposed to, say, Michael Bay?
    He did direct a great trilogy after all and he had a few good film under his belt before that.

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