Sunday, July 18, 2010

Inception

Christopher Nolan's "Inception" was in the end disappointing. It's not that the cinematography went wild and outshone the acting because it didn't. Many of the showcace-y scenes of bent time and perspective were really quite restrained and the acting is uniformly competent. A film about entering another's subconscious is not new; I actually found The Cell (2000) quite intriguing and visually arresting. It's more that in the end I didn't care much for Inception's caper, romance, villain or threat, etc. I actually didn't understand much of the consciousness hokum, which sounded a lot like The Matrix.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Predators

Predators is bad science and bad fiction. Like every other movie of this type, it's not much more than Ten Little Indians in space. The audience gets to watch as the increasingly despicable characters are dispatched in increasingly gruesome ways by the inexplicably cranky predators of the title. Though some humor was i...njected by That 70's Show's Topher Grace, the movie is grim going all the way, leaving one to wonder why Oscar-winner Adrien Brody signed on for this dreck and why Laurence Fishburne accepted the invitation of an amazingly hammy cameo midway.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Secret in Their Eyes

I'd not read a word about the remarkable Argentine film The Secret in Their Eyes before seeing it with a buddy last night although I think I knew it had won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture this year. Though the story has some of the feel of murder mysteries and police procedurals, it's varied and intricate textures are like nothing I'd seen before. And, yes, it's conclusion is haunting and unsettling. Television director Juan Jose Campanella's film overflows with stunning visuals and intimate set pieces so stuffed with nuance I was put in mind of Ingmar Bergman's work. This film raises the bar in so many years, so many times, that for me it was like watching a film master craft a new standard of excellence. Superb.

Yesterday

  Director Danny Boyle's hummably insightful morality tale, Yesterday, is a sure starmaker for amiable Hamish Patel, who plays ...