Thursday, June 10, 2010

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Three Quickies

Felt like an old-school psychological thriller. Everyone's in on the joke (though it's a serious joke), and it's a delight to watch the large ensemble play off of each other. The music, non-original, but culled from many sources, is haunting and effective. There are two moments that jar me out of the film, and they are the same moments from the book: the talk with the Warden, and line during the finale. You'll know it, I'm sure, when you hear it. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure this is one of Leonardo DiCaprio's best performances, and for once, I cannot fault Thelma Schoonmaker. A beautifully atmospheric novel has been slavishly adapted...and it doesn't bug me at all! In fact, I absolutely love it. Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley and Jackie Earle Haley also impress, and I love the ambiguity of the end.

This Australian noir from the Brothers Edgerton is a quiet, unpretentious, impressive little thriller. There's maybe one moment that doesn't work perfectly, and is a bit of a throwaway...or perhaps foreshadowing. But I like it, I really do. The lead performance by David Roberts is great -- you know this guy, and you even kind of root for him despite the awfulness of his decisions. Everyone in the cast works brilliantly and believably, though one does wonder how Roberts' character met the mistress that sets the plot in motion. And what a plot it is! Sometimes, I love going into movies without knowing anything about them other than the title! In this case, it was quite rewarding.

Great fun. Dismissable, perhaps, but still a good time at the movies. A fine adventure film with the charming Jake Gyllenhaal, the dastardly Ben Kingsley (awesome in this), and the hilarious Alfred Molina. I feel like it's not a great movie, given the amount of eyerolling moments and ludicrous plot, but I would buy the shit out of this movie and show it to my kids and friends and everyone again and again. I will say this, though: is Gemma Arterton ever going to act?


Danny King said...

"Shutter Island" and "The Square" are two of my favorites of the year so far. DiCaprio and Roberts would probably be near the top of my Best Actor lists as well. Two really impressive thrillers.

Andrew K. said...

Glad you liked Shutter Island, wrought with issues but that's because of Lehane's spotty novel.

I don't feel like I ever want to see Persia, and some reviews have been very damning from friends...but glad you had fun.