Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quick Critiques: August 15 - 21

District 9
4+ Viewing
A- It's been about a year since the film came out, and at the time there was talk that the film was pretty great, but would never be nominated for Best Picture. Five months later, the film makes it into the big ten, and though some wrote it off immediately as a treat-to-be-nominated film that didn't have much chance at winning, I beg to differ. I knew immediately that this film had more of a chance at winning than Avatar, because of what District 9 had that that film didn't: a screenplay nomination. This film was superbly written and performed, and that's what captivated me the most. The visual effects, editing, and cinematography were amazing, but all second to what made the film spectacular. One year later, this film continues to deliver.

Shoot 'Em Up

1st Viewing

Going into this movie, I knew what it was meant to be. Just another non-stop sexy action fest with witty one-liners galore, and I appreciated that. This film was never meant to have any deep meaning, and it really didn't. It was just looking for an excuse to kill people, and I found their excuse justifiable. There is some brilliant gun fighting in this movie, especially in the mid-section sex scene. Were we really under the assumption that this film wouldn't have a sex scene somewhere in it? Who are we kidding. That's what we want, and they deliver. Paul Giamatti's performance is good, but we don't come here for him.

The Ghost Writer

1st Viewing

A- Even imprisoned, Roman Polanski is one spectacular filmmaker. I skipped out of seeing this film in theaters at the last moment and opted instead to see Greenberg. In hind sight, not the best decision I could've made. Despite some dark subject matter that could have easily been a slow and boring two hours, this film springs with a liveliness rare to find in this kind of drama. There is an intriguing mystery at the heart of this film, and the revelation at the end is very powerful. The cinematography is stunning, as is the energetic score by Alexandre Desplat. Ewan McGregor usually sticks with the same sort of role, but he makes it work because he's superb within it. Going into The Ghost Writer, I was prepared for a slight disappointment, but it never came. If this were released towards the end of the year, it would be up for Oscar contention. As it is, it's a well paced early year thriller.

The Hurt Locker

3rd Viewing
A Many will remember that the first time I reviewed this film (what I refer to as the dark times of H.o.C.), I didn't really appreciate it at all. I was very limited minded back then, and I wasn't able to see the film for what it was: a riveting, high tension, action-drama set in the Iraq war. I changed my opinion of the film as the Oscars were approaching, and this film was claimed to be neck and neck with Avatar. I had to take a side, so I sided with this film, and I absolutely fell in love with it. Jeremy Renners performance is amazing, as are the cameo performances by Ralph Fiennes and Guy Pierce. I've had rough relationship with The Hurt Locker, but ultimately, a beneficial one.

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