Sunday, April 10, 2011

A few from 2010

I'm burned out on 2010 movies for the moment, but here are some brief thoughts on five more of them.

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Let Me In. I don't really have much to say about it that I didn't say about Let the Right One In. The Swedish version was running through my head during every scene, so I don't think I gave this anything like a fair shake. The early 80s Reagan-era setting did add a wrinkle of anxious good/evil security/insecurity context, though I think it may have mostly been an excuse to get some Bowie on the soundtrack. I'm not settled on the matter, but I think that the story may work better without this context. The music here is just as overbearing as the Swedish version, in a slightly different way. I think that Reeves' version has better cinematography. Metz isn't as terrifying as the Swedish girl, but she has an undeniable charisma that few actors/actresses of any age can match. The boy is fine. Richard Jenkins is great as always. Jack Shepherd's son turns out to be a badass.

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Made in Dagenham is nothing if not easy to watch. The story has a strong feel-good momentum (with a brief suicide interlude from out of nowhere) that is hard to resist. It's got a great cast. Sally Hawkins. Bob Hoskins. The cause at the centre of the film (equal pay for equal work) is about as uncontroversial as possible for a message movie.

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I didn't want to like Blue Valentine. I'm not sure why. I guess I just didn't want to watch two people act miserable toward each other. I was suspicious of the structure of the film. I also think that both of these actors are a bit over-rated.

What ended up being fascinating to me is that the "blame" is truly de-centered here. It's easy to see the husband as an irresponsible child-man. It's easy to see the wife as a respectability-obsessed witch. It's just as easy to see both of them in a positive way.

As far as the structure goes, it's perfect.

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Never Let Me Go plays out like a dystopian Saved By the Bell; Only it's missing the Screech comic relief moments. I hated this one. I prefer my teen melodrama to take place in Smallville.

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It's Kind of a Funny Story is kind of a funny movie. I know that that's the obvious opening line to any review of this movie, but I went with it anyway. This movie was a breath of fresh air after Never Let Me Go. The tone is uneven, maybe even schizophrenic, but what else can you expect from a psych ward dramedy? There isn't much profound here and I do think that it's a bit irresponsible in its portrayal of mental illness as a party, but the Queen music video had me tearing up a bit. That's right. I totally mocked Never Let Me Go while watching it, but got all emotional over some crazies lip synching a Queen song. Ridiculous.

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Here's a comment from MrWooaa on Youtube:

i just want you to know that this is not what a pych hosptiel is like. i was commeted, ( not by my choise mind you), after a suiside atempt, and this movie is nothink like the real thing. imagen a horible mix of preeschool and prison. i was watched 24/7, and evry night, every five minuets on the dot, they would shine a light in my face to make shure i was still brething. there was a big hubub if i was in the bathroom for too long, or out of sight for 2 seconds. they treeded me like a crook.


1 comment:

abigail said...

We need more 1929!

Also, I'd give you my kidney.
Possibly my liver.

Never let me go,
The Wifey