Monday, November 26, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In the Company of Men

1997 film by Neil Labute about two guys who decide to play a little game where they simultaneously seduce an office girl then simultaneously dump her. They cook this up after a
series of demotions, break-ups and other such life annoyances. They want to "restore their dignity " as they put it. Well, as you might guess, things are more complicated than that and it ends up creating complications and misfortunes. This movie is formulaic, predictable and boring. I found myself wanting to fast forward many, many times. This movie is only 90 minutes long but it could've been thirty and felt like well over 120. The acting is good, the dialogue is good, but the scenes run way too long and the general pace of the movie is a snoozefest. I left this movie feeling like "what was the point?"


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

American Gangster

American Gangster is the latest film from director Ridley Scott (GI Jane, Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, and many more) and screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List, Gangs of New York, etc) and it tells the true stories of Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts. The former is an African American from North Carolina who is trying to define and establish himself as a gangster/drug dealer in New York. Across the river in New Jersey is Richie Roberts, a man who too is trying to define and establish himself, but as a cop and, eventually he hopes, a lawyer. Both men face numerous odds and work tirelessly to stick true to what they believe and be the best damn gangster/cop in town. This leads Lucas to the very top of the drug food chain (his net worth in the 70's was hundreds of millions) and Roberts to being picked to form the first DEA office in Jersey. This means Lucas soon becomes Roberts primary target. It's a very good watch, and has some fantastic performances by all involved. It's very good, but it's not great. At times it seems like characters just do things w/out the filmmaker developing why (for example, one of the characters turns to the other side at one part and that scene lasts like a second, it's almost like, ok, games up I'm on your side now). All that to say, I left the movie feeling like, that was good, I enjoyed it, but I didn't think much about it and I certainly wasn't running to tell people to go out and see it.

S'Good, but borderline SA

Gone Baby Gone

Alright, I'm going to just lay this out there so you're not taken off guard and run out of the theatre. Affleck's directorial debut. I know, I know, but hear me out. It's actually really, really good. This flick, starring Casey Affleck, Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman is tense, gritty, emotional and very well done. Somehow you feel like you are there in the dirties parts of Boston and like the characters in the film, all you wanna do is clean things up. Gone Baby Gone is the story of a young guy and his girlfriend who've decided to start a private investigator firm that specializes in missing persons. But up until now all he's done is, as he puts it, people who get a little drunk during spring break and wander off. Suddenly he's approached about finding a missing girl that's in all the headlines. He takes the case and is soon in way over his head. The movie is dark, raw and at times very hard to watch. But it's one of the best movies I've ever seen on the subject of child abuse and neglect. Everyone seems to be saying they're acting in the best interest of the child and yet it's hard to decide, even by the end, if ANY of them actually are. This movies is suspenseful and tense and will certainly leaving you thinking.

Worth Watching (but do be warned it's a tough watch)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Why We Fight

In his farewell address, Ike Eisenhower, a man who's rise to fame came as a result of his military genius, warned the nation that it was headed down a path leading to a "military industrial state" as he called it. He said that building up this military industrial state can't be done without sacraficing other things we want in our nation. Every bomb we build is a school we don't improve. Every jet we build is a hospital we didn't build. He said this country runs on resources and the more we pour towards the military, the less we have to pour into other things.
This documentary by Eugene Jarecki is an examination of that speech and a look at how we've, unfortunately, made reality many of the nightmares Eisenhower warned about. It is a look at how vast and pervasive the military has become in our society and, to some extent, a look at what that means for our future. It is a very well made doc and I assure you that will either leave feeling proud or downright enraged. It is a very good flick that is certainly worth a view.
Worth Watching

Clip o' the Week