Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Ghost Writer

No director does paranoia like Roman Polanski, and his latest film, The Ghost Writer, is a model of crackling suspense and suspicion. Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Catttrall, Olivia Williams and Tom Wilkinson swoop and swerve around one another effortlessly, guided assuredly by Polanski's masterful direction and a script that is a dream of literate intrigue and snipe. It's been ages since I've been in a film with a story so fresh, lean and tightly crafted that my attention NEVER wavered. Wonderfully entertaining.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Green Zone

Green Zone is more than a Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon vanity project but less than the latest Bourne installment. It has the kinetic madness of both Supremacy and Ultimatum and a bit of the political craziness of a Syriana but it lacks heft and intrigue mainly because we know the story -- there weren't no WMD. Greengrass's signature hand-held camera work left me especially dyspeptic this go round. Damon, long one of my favorites, delivers.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is a visual feast but it is not the cinematic wonder that Avatar is and it often feels junky and cluttered, qualities that are worsened by the 3D effects. I don't think I could have tolerated more length but the film feels disjointed and underdeveloped. Mia Wasikowska (stellar in HBO'sIn Treatment in 2008) is suitably spunky as Alice but the film overall is anemic and uninvolving. Pity.

Queen & Slim

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