Monday, May 30, 2011


4 out of 5. The stark timelessness of Andrew Dominik's THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD is both artful and refreshing. Thankfully Andrew Dominik has a way of showing us a well-worn genre that offers a meditative view of a legendary figure. The acting is quite compelling, especially that of Casey Affleck. Knowing the ending ahead of time certainly doesn't get in the way of the journey. This is perfect Sunday movie watching. Contemplative and open.


Saturday, May 21, 2011


4 out of 5. Writing the previous review made me think of this other easily forgotten gem by David Fincher, ZODIAC. The sound design was rich, the film was dark and punishing. The characters were almost as scary in their intensity as the killer they were chasing. You can see how the tidal wave of mysterious terror overtakes their lives slowly and pulls them under before it's too late. Probably not an easy one to rewatch but a great reminder of how compelling Fincher continues to be as a filmmaker.


Sunday, May 8, 2011


3 out of 5. John Hillcoat's THE PROPOSITION expands on the Western even though it was filmed in The Outback. The landscape of Australia is brutal hell on Earth and it's characters are tied to it by their deeds. Even the innocent is guilty of something and no foul deed goes unpunished by man or element. All this comes across in a fairly poetic manner with nods to Peckinpah other directors of great Westerns.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011


4 out of 5. Speaking of musicals, Baz Luhrmann's MOULIN ROUGE! knocked my socks off when it first came out over decade ago. The fantasy world built by him and the two leads was quite mesmerizing. I really dig high-production values used in small ways. His earlier film STRICTLY BALLROOM was another favorite of mine. But this film showed a sense of style, composition and the ability to make a fun film. Also: JIM BROADBENT whom I cannot get enough of.