Thursday, February 24, 2011

Caitlin's Review of Blue Valentine

Love hurts and so will this by Caitlin Murphy
I have long suspected it. And now that I have official confirmation, I can confess: I hate movies about couples. More specifically, I hate movies that chart the evolution and inevitable dissolution of couple relationships. I’m still in the midst of refining this category, so bear with me. Comedies don’t count; Annie Hall for instance: safe. And brilliant masterworks don’t count either; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: also safe. But movies like Revolutionary Road, and, recently, Blue Valentine: danger, danger, danger. You know that people will say horrible, irretractable things to one another; painfully awkward attempts at physical intimacy will be made; alcohol will feature prominently; third parties will linger seductively in the wings; long-suspected truths, hitherto too awful to admit, will finally be revealed; and last ditch efforts will be hurled across the kitchen. And. All. For. What?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sick, no flick

Due to illness this week, we didn't get to catch a movie, hence no reviews. Looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Caitlin's Review of The Fighter

by Caitlin Murphy

I don’t know much about boxing, but it strikes me that to be any good at it you have to be pretty nuts. (Hell, any inkling to go near a boxing ring is a brand of crazy in my books). Acting’s rather similar though. After all, when your entire M.O. is an intense commitment to pretending to be someone else, mental health issues can’t be looming too far off. Christian Bale is an absolute nut-bar. And I love him for it. Were I his mother or girlfriend, I would surely fret over his oft-cited obsessive approach to character. Thankfully, as a mere audience member, I sit happily in awe.

Brian's Review of The Fighter

Two For One by Brian Crane

The Fighter
is an easy movie to like. And I did. Thing is, though, I’m not sure it’s very good.

The problem is that there are really two movies here. The first is Christian Bale’s, and it’s just your basic addiction-of-the-week story. In this case, a washed up boxer-become-crack addict wrecks his life while creating endless problems for his longsuffering family. The interest is in the spectacle of people’s silence, a mother’s complicity, the ugliness of rock bottom. To the extent there is drama, it is predictable and uncomplicated, leading from a jail cell epiphany to recovery to reconciliation, step by step by step.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brian's Review of True Grit

Like They Used to Make Them
by Brian Crane

The Coen brothers have immense narrative gifts and a natural sense of genre. They work squarely in the highest traditions of classical cinema. True Grit is a virtuoso performance of this style of filmmaking. The only break from the invisibility of the narration for most of the film is the achingly beautiful landscape photography. Is the image desaturated or the landscape merely colorless?

Caitlin's Review of True Grit

TRUE DAT by Caitlin Murphy

In the very first images of True Grit, a so-very Coen Brothers sleight of hand: from the black screen, a warm, orange glow in the upper-right corner slowly emerges; instinctively, we lean into it, seeking its source, to find a front porch basking in its embrace. The next thing we notice: the dead body on the front lawn. And that's kinda how life happens, isn't it? At least according to the Coens. Creeping up on us when we're falling for something else. Or is it busy making other plans? However expressed, it seems the brothers enjoy teasing us with this truth, as though asking: “feeling welcome?... lulled?... content?... well, (pointing at something dastardly) explain that then!”

The Monday Matinee Project

So, when my BFF Crane and I realized we had a common free period on Mondays (in our otherwise gruelling CEGEP teaching schedules), we thought: 'hey, what better way to start off the week than catching an afternoon flick?' (that, and we sometimes think we need alternative activities to drinking). We decided to set ourselves the task of writing reviews of all these Monday movies. We don't always agree on what constitutes a quality flick, but I told Crane I have always been intrigued by his views, and, he gently told me, he has always been tolerant of mine. Enjoy.