Thursday, December 31, 2009


Clint Eastwood's Invictus is from start to finish a paen to human decency. The film exploits (in the positive sense of that term) every visual and musical cue to rouse the audience as it tells its tale of a heretofore pitiful South African rugby team's battle for world domination, and respectability, in 1995. The team's struggle was emblematic of the nation's own quest under the leadership of Nelson Mandela.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Brothers is a perfectly decent movie with credible, spot on performances from beginning to end. Everyone hits the marks, each scene is crafted for optimal believability and the ending is satisfying. It is a good but unremarkable film. The child actress Bailee Madison holds her own when on the screen with Gyllenhaal, Portman and Maguire.

The Road

Yes, The Road is as bleak, maybe bleaker, than you had pictured it in your head while reading the book. But, as McCarthy had intended, those redeeming moments of transcendent humanity are to be found in the boy, played by the young Aussie actor Kodi Smith-McPhee. What a face.

A Serious Man

The Coen Brothers' "A Serious Man" left me sad and blue as I thought about the Jobian troubles that had befallen the mild-mannered physics professor Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg). Were he not so blasted mild-mannered half of the crap that he had to deal with wouldn't have happened. Therein lies the beauty of this "morality" tale.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes really packs a wallop, and that's a good thing. The Holmes / Watson interplay put me in mind of a more amped-up House / Wilson pairing from the TV series House, all bromance and codependency.

Queen & Slim

In the soon to be iconic photograph from Melina Matsoukas's distressing Queen & Slim, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith...