Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quick Review Update

The Christmas Crazies are upon us (aka: actually thinking that it's a good idea to be in or around the Grafton Street area at any time of day) and I've dropped behind with reviews. Here's a quick smattering (well, 3 really) of what I've seen lately...

Southland Tales
Being the huge Donnie Darko fan that I am I was particularly looking forward to Richard Kelly's next for the best part of 4 years. A disastrous Cannes screening bode ill for a film that was reportedly self-indulgent, confusing and meandering. A year and a re-edit later, Southland Tales emerged and, well... it's still all those things, but maybe not as much as before. It's still a good film and worth watching, but it seems like it has lost itself and drowned amid a sea of half-ideas that never come together.
Rating: * * * (3 Stars)

The Assassination of Jessie James By The Coward Robert Ford
If you happen to enjoy the films of Terrance Mallik then you'll love this one. Mallik's Days Of Heaven was an inspiration for this tale of how one of the most infamous men of 1800's America was killed. It looks absolutely gorgeous, with one scene involving a train robbery at night especially standing out. The story itself takes time to properly kick off, and when it does the film is at it's most compelling and interesting. Pitt and Affleck give excellent performances and make this one to watch during awards season.
Rating: * * * * (4 Stars)

I have every reason to hate this film: it's a chick flick, tons to saccharine laced story lines, the bloke from Grey's Anatomy and, being a Disney film, the potential to be overly moralistic. The fact that I really enjoyed it almost makes me ill. It's funny, well written and has some excellent performances. Disney takes the piss out of itself and does so with a knowing wink. What Scream is to horror, Enchanted is to the fantasy fable. Pity the final 20 minutes of the film, when Susan Sarandon shows up, goes all clich├ęd and Hilary Duff-esque.
Rating: * * * * (4 Stars)

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