Movie Review: The Town (2010)

3/5

Heat came out in 1995 as a powerhouse of a film. It pitted two of the greatest American actors, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, against each other. It was a movie with wits, as well as fantastically made action sequences. It is widely considered Michael Mann’s best movie (I personally think Collateral (2004)) and is also known as an American classic to many. The Town is almost a remake, but is still different, but not original.

The Town is about Doug MacRay (Writer, Director, and Star of the movie Ben Affleck) and his team of bank robbers (Jeremy Renner, Slaine, and Owen Burke) who after a heist plan to cool down but are forced to take in a few more jobs before they can quit by “Fergie” (Pete Postlethwaite). During their first heist they kidnapped the bank manager (Rebecca Hall), who Doug ends up falling in love with, only to complicate things. Also in the mix is FBI Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) who is trying to track them down.

If you can’t tell from the plot description this movie is a mix of Heat, The Departed, and Public Enemies, literally. All elements have been taking from the three and blended together to make an average movie, at best.

The direction is powerful, I must admit. I think Ben Affleck has finally found his median (because it sure as hell isn’t acting), between this and Gone Baby Gone, he is definitely going to become a powerhouse and have a career in this field (I predict one similar to Clint Eastwood’s). Gone Baby Gone was one of my favorite movies of 2007, and it is a powerful film, and I remember being blown away by it, and now The Town, though it didn’t blow me away overall, it did with it’s direction.

Every scene has intenseness to it in a great way. Even scenes that are funny, or pure drama, are still intense as hell, thanks to this powerful direction. The camera is always shifting ways, once again blending the styles of some greats; Michael Mann, Scorsese, even John Woo in a sense. It takes traditional shots to shots scene in heat, intense over the shoulder shooting, and running. It is just brilliantly shot.

The acting is actually only sub-par which is surprising, but that is mostly to the lack of emotion and depth in the script itself. Ben Affleck plays the lead role… and does absolutely nothing to remembrance or to the benefit of the movie. He honestly just brings nothing to the table. Ben has proven that he can be a great actor (Mall Rats, Good Will Hunting, Dogma, Boiler Room, Smokin’ Aces, and State of Play), but it seems he also has equally bad roles/movies. In this movie he doesn’t do terrible but he doesn’t do well either, he just average. He doesn’t have the excellent power of Leonardo in The Departed, in which the character is similar.

The supporting cast does a split job. Jeremy Renner is great as the psychopath/comic relief, but the role has been done before (Mark Wahlberg in The Departed, and in others) so it’s not too impressive, but he does give the best in the movie. Rebecca Hall is just your traditional “I’m so dumb, vulnerable, and confused” lady role, that is just really insulting to herself. I’m sure if she picked a better role she could have given a good performance. Jon Hamm also just plays the traditional “I’m batman… I mean, I’m gonna save the day cop, and I yell a lot”, he also brings nothing to the table.

But the two other actors who shine are Chris Cooper, who is Ben Affleck’s father, and is in only one scene, and Pete Postlethwaite. Chris Cooper gives an Oscar worthy scene that is emotionally rendering and masterfully performed. He really channels all the emotions he is suppose to and lets them out. Pete plays your normal bad guy boss, but brings some flavor into it, with his grittiness, crudeness, and accentness…?

The script is the ultimate failure of the movie, for it’s bland and unoriginality. It was written by Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, and Aaron Stockard, based on the book “Prince of Thieves”. You can tell before writing this they watched a tone of gangster, heist, crime dramas. Literally every scene I could make a connection to other movies. Heat; the basic way everything happens, The Departed; all the character, Public Enemies; the battle between cop and criminal, all three; the magnificent shoot-outs, and more. It’s a very predictable script too; I knew the end before it even started. This is the ultimate reason the movie is held back from greatness. It still has it’s moments, but none original, but it was still tolerable in the end.

Overall it’s just an average movie with great direction, some decent performances, and just a bad script. You should either go see Devil which was amazing, or just rent any of the three said movies (once again, Heat, The Departed, and Public Enemies), for those are all amazing, and this is not. Now people may say, “How do I give it a 3?” since I’ve sort of been bashing it, it’s still an entertaining movie that is well made, but it’s definitely more of a rent it, not worth the $10.

Movie Review: Inception (2010)

5/5!

I don’t think I had ever been so excited to see a movie. For starters it was directed by Christopher Nolan who has made three of the best movies I’ve ever seen (Memento (my all time favorite), The Prestige, and The Dark Knight). He is a master of his craft and all his movies have failed to disappoint me (besides Insomnia… that did a lot). Second off it has one of the best ensemble casts that I’ve seen in a long while. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Marion Cotillard; an amazing cast! Third was the trailer; best trailer ever, period.

My expectations were probably in space, and the quality? Out of the universe! The problem with me reviewing this is that I don’t want to overhype it so that people go in with the highest of high expectations (even though I did). Some will most definitely not like this movie, though their stupid, they have their own opinions. So please read this not as an opinion former, but a set opinion, of a big fan of Nolan, the cast, and the trailer, like I am sure most of you are.

I was so pumped up to see this that I went at midnight. I bought my tickets three hours earlier, and arrived at 11:30, to see a packed theater. Even though it was packed, me and my company had good seats. I was about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of my [movie-going] life. So get ready for a ridiculously long review, because that would be the only proper way to pay respect to this masterwork.

Inception, what is it about? Without spoiling anything… it’s kind of hard to explain. Leonardo DiCaprio is Cobb. Cobb is a security man, but a special kind of security… your subconscious. He goes into your mind and steals your secrets, by going through your dream. It’s a very hard process so he isn’t anything without his team; Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt); Cobb’s partner for years, Eames (Tom Hardy); an excellent man in deception, Yusuf (Dileep Rao); a top notch chemist, and Aridane (Ellen Page); the new architect in the group, she designs the dreams. But that’s not even what it’s about.

The movie starts with Cobb and Arthur in the middle of a job inside the mind of Ken Watanabe. There are many confusing aspects to this (the movie is very confusing in the beginning) first job, but I’ll do my best to explain. So from then on because something different. Ken’s character, Saito, knew they were inside his dream, and it was a test. So then Ken gives the two a job that would grant them new life. They have to perform Inception, which is not the normal the normal way to go into dreams. Instead of taking secrets/thoughts they implant one which grows. Saito wants them to do this to Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) because he is the heir to a rival business company. Saito wants them to basically make Fischer bring down his own company… and that’s were things get tricky.

I can’t go in any further detail as far as plot goes because you must just see it to understand. I go for hours and hours behind the logic just so you can understand, but once you see it, we could talk for two minutes and we’d be done. So things are better left unread and seen. So now on to specific aspects of the movie.

Christopher Nolan is a master director. Everything he does is either amazing (Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and this!), or great (Following, Batman Begins); and then one not so good one (Insomnia). Even though he’s only made 7 movies I can easily say he is my second favorite director of all time (behind Stanley Kubrick) already. Everything he does is just pure genius and masterful. Memento is the best movie I’ve ever seen, and a large portion is due to his story and direction. The direction is also powerful in his other movies, especially The Dark Knight. If any other director did The Dark Knight, it would have been half as good. Nolan knows the stories he is going to make extremely well. He becomes involved, and he knows how to control actors and utilize them to their fullest potential. He does nothing short with Inception.

This is probably Nolan’s best job directing in 9 years (Memento), which is a very bold statement considering the amazing magnitude The Dark Knight is on. Nolan gets completely involved with his captivating story and you can tell. He has his moments of pure drama, some humorous parts, and some of the best actions scenes I’ve maybe ever seen. It helps that Nolan wrote it for then he knows what he wants to do and he does it. There is never a point were he loses control, he always knows what he’s doing, what he’s going to do, and how he going to do it.

The best example is the best fight scene I have EVER, repeat, EVER, have seen. In two words it was, Mind-blowing. My jaw had literally dropped during the whole fight, I was on the edge of my seat, and when it was over I turned next to my friend and said, “Did you just see that!?”; yes it was that damn good. The reason is not only because of the chorography but mainly because of Nolan’s master direction! It is between Arthur and a random baddie, but there is a twist (yes a twist to a fight), there is shifting gravity. Meaning that one moment the ground is down, the next moment the wall is, and then the ceiling, and it keeps rotating. So while this crazy shift of gravity is going on these two are fighting each other and trying to get a gun that keeps sliding away. Nolan uses all the right techniques for this scene. He just does everything right that you have to see it to believe it. The best thing though is that he doesn’t get all shaky, like in the Bourne movies, were you can’t see a damn thing happening! Everything is crystal clear and that was a big reason why it was the best!

Nolan has directed himself his fourth masterpiece, and it wasn’t solely because of him, but a big portion of it was! This is a very epic, intense, and mind-blowing film, and I must say Bravo to you Nolan, you made this great!

The acting is nothing short to amazing. Leonardo was made for the lead role, everything about him was just perfect, he is Cobb in my mind forever now. Though Leo is a perfect leading man he was not the best acting, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Like I said Leo is the perfect leading man, he has all the qualities he should. He gives an absolutely fantastic performance, he grasps our attention and makes us involved with the character, everyone says he is great looking, and everyone knows and loves him! He is perfect and he plays the role so well. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the movie, he did do really well in Shutter Island, but this performance makes that look like child’s-play, same with all of his other performances. Yes, I think this is Leo’s best, well maybe after The Departed. Leo is just chalk full of emotion in every scene and he is never letting you go in his captivation. Leo just slowly makes me love him more and more as an actor and it was smart of him to do Inception. It was a very hard role to pull off and I cant tell you, most would probably miserably fail were Leo succeeded so dearly. In my eyes he deserves a Best Actor nom.

The supporting cast is also up to speed with Leo. There are four other truly amazing performances in the movie. They come from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Marion Cotillard. Joseph is just an extremely charming guy; he is slowly becoming my man crush. With movies like Angels in the Outfield (come on, it’s classic with him and that black boy, and Christopher Lloyd), Manic, Mysterious Skin, The Lookout, Stop-Loss, Killshot (not that bad), I suppose (500) Days of Summer (overrated), but most importantly Brick, and now this! He just knows how to play the roles he is assigned, and he can play them all ridiculously amazingly! Tom Hardy is basically just the comic relief, he is extremely funny and fun to watch so that’s why I really liked his performance.

Cillian Murphy is just an extremely emotional man in this movie. He plays the role with a serene beauty. He gets you very emotionally involved with his character and he does it extremely well. Finally there is Marion Cotillard, who scared the living hell out of me at many times. She is Cobb’s dead wife who keeps interfering with the team’s missions, because she still lives in Cobb’s subconscious, and because of her we get an interesting back story on Cobb. She plays her role amazingly; she deceives, kills, and is just crazy as fuck. She is so crazy at times it scares me, and she is also very deeply involving because of her emotional intensity. So in all I think it’s possible this movie deserves three Supporting Actor nominations, and a Supporting Actress nomination. Something may change by the end of the year, but that’s what I think right now. Everyone else just does an OK job, nothing special like these five. But Ellen Page really underwhelmed me and times and I think she was wrong for the role, she really seemed out-of-place.

The movie was written by Christopher Nolan, pure genius. This was Nolan’s first completely original work since his debut film, Following back in 1998. But that doesn’t even matter because he is one of the best story tellers ever, and maybe one of the best writers ever. Inception is Nolan’s Avatar… bad example, but it’s his epic masterpiece. Though not his best movie it is epic on every damn level and just complete genius, pure entertainment, and a mind-fuck, but in a completely good way. This is one of the most original movies I’ve seen in an extremely long time. Hollywood is living in remakes, reboots, sequels, and crap to make money. This is the most refreshing movie I’ve seen in a long while thanks to Nolan. Everything is spot it, it stays true to it’s Sci-Fi aspects, while still being an entertaining action blockbuster. It’s also so damn clever that Nolan probably went crazy trying to write it and stay to the logic within side his world. I was captivated since the moment it started and I must say bravo Nolan.

So that was my epic review of an epic movie. I didn’t want to overhype this movie for anyone but as I started writing, I couldn’t stop. This movie is so compelling on just every level. I want to see it multiple more times in theaters, and kiss the feet of Christopher Nolan. Some will call me stupid for saying this but I can already say that this is one of my all time favorite movies ever; it is definitely Nolan’s second best work behind Memento only. I can also tell you this will end up as number 1 on my top 10 of 2010, I can guarantee it. When I do my version of the Oscars, I think this movie deserves the following nominations (and probably wins but I can’t tell until the end of the year): Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Three Supporting Actors, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Special Effects, Best Sound, and maybe some others I’m forgetting.

All in all Inception is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen and I recommended it to everyone. It is a truly astonishing film and even if you aren’t a fan of the Sci-Fi genre, see it anyways because I think you will pull at least something out of it. Inception is a movie that will be talked about decades from now as far as influence goes, I can foresee it in the future. One last time,

INCEPTION!!!

NOTE: After seeing this another two times, my opinion hasn’t changed in the slightest!

Movie Review: Winter’s Bone (2010)

4/5

Winter’s Bone is an unflinchingly gritty neo-noir thriller. From the trailer it looked absolutely stunning and was high on my list of movies to see this year. Now after seeing it I can tell you I was disappointed by it very much, but it was still a pretty good movie. It’s a movie that many won’t get a chance to see, but if you do, why not?

Winter’s Bone is about 17 Year Old Ree (Jennifer Lawrence). She lives in the Ozark Mountains with her Mother (who is completely distant from reality) and her two younger siblings (boy and girl). She acts as the man, and woman of the house, taking care of herself, her brother and sister, and her mom. But when her drug-dealing father skips a court date, and to meet his bond he put up the house in which Ree and her family lives,  Ree has only a week to either get her Dad to court or prove he’s dead, like so many believe.

Ree embarks on a devastating journey through the crazy redneck infested backwoods on a search for her father, while still keeping the family together. This is a very slow, but somehow intense film that has a few flaws that prevents it from being great.

The film was directed by Debra Granik who I have never heard of prior to this film. She directed one feature length prior to this, Down to the Bone (2004), but as far as I know it wasn’t a very good movie. Then Winter’s Bone hit the Sundance circuit and ended up going home with two prizes, Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic, and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Now not knowing what it went up against I can’t tell you if it deserved it or not, but it definitely deserved to be a candidate.

The direction from Granik stays inside no boundaries and goes where it wants to. It depicts the life in poverty for the family expertly; I wouldn’t be surprised if she grew up in this kind of horrible situation. They live in a very crappy home, I’m not even sure if they have running water. The only form of entertainment is an old trampoline and work always must be done. She exquisitely portrays this with her camera that brings these images to life and sorrow to our souls. She also has a style that is in the vein of a classic Noir film and a new gritty urban drama. She never does anything to flashy to distract the story, but instead guides Ree on her quest for glory and search for knowledge. Granik’s direction is very powerful in this film, and I guarantee we will be seeing more from her.

The acting is pretty outstanding in the film. Jennifer Lawrence is a good [quiet] lead. She doesn’t have long memorable monologues, she isn’t a crazy action hero busting bullets into everyone, and she isn’t a hard-ass either. She is just a teenage girl doing her duties. This is the first time I’ve seen Lawrence in a movie and she is unprecedentedly great. She plays the role with a stern reassurance throughout that makes us believe she is Ree, and she is in her incredible situation.

But the two best performances are almost two completely different roles. They go to John Hawkes as Teardrop, Ree’s father’s only brother, and Dale Dickey as Merab, a crazy southern redneck lady who kicks-ass then asks questions. Hawkes performance is by far the most memorable and most powerful. It has a deep core of emotion, with a layer of protectiveness, bad-ass-ness, and another layer of no emotion (AKA, Pure Evil) that only comes out once or twice. All he wants to do is help Ree, find his brother, and be a good person, but has a hard time achieving all of those. He definitely is a candidate for my version of the Oscars for Best Supporting Actor. Then Dale is just a crazed woman trying to protect Ree from herself, and has a very odd way of doing it. Her performance is powerful and mean and also full of emotion.

The writer is where the movie is flawed. It was written by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini, based off the novel Winter’s Bone. This is the first time the writers have collaborated and the outcome is… interesting, but flawed. It is a great premise in a good blend of genres; Neo-Noir, Gritty Crime, Detective, Mother Movie. But there are many flaws. The pacing is very shifty; sometimes it’s very slow, and sometimes very intense. Also just the general flow of things; sometimes she’ll just think of somewhere to go, go, find what she was looking for, then move on. It just seems too clichéd and not thought out enough. Sure the movie would have been longer (and it felt real long) but maybe that would have helped. Sometime the characters were hard to identify with, well their motives at least, and the way they act. Maybe it’s because I don’t live like them, but not everyone does.

This overall is a good movie that falls to some major flaws in the writing. Everything is good otherwise and definitely worth a look. It’s not a contender (in my eyes) for any awards other than Best Supporting Actor. Another interesting movie from the Sundance Circuit.

Movie Review: The Crazies (2010)

4/5

Now I am what you could call a zombie movie fanatic. Even though this movie is really a zombie movie (but technically it is) I still really wanted to see it. Sure it had a lame title, a questionable cast, and a bad director, I still wanted to see it. Well I finally got my chance and the wait was definitely worth it. The film is a horror remake of the 1973 George A. Romero movie. That was another questionable aspect, a horror remake. 9.9 times out of 10 that will not end up good, but trust me this one did.

The Crazies is about the small town Ogden Marsh in Iowa, which is your typical small town. Everyone knows each other, the pass time is high school baseball, and farming is the industry to be in. But then all of the citizens start acting… well you guessed it, Crazy! So the sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) along with his wife (Radha Mitchell), his deputy (Joe Anderson), and a young local girl (Danielle Panabaker) try to escape from all the madness. But of course there had to be another obstacle, and of course that obstacle would be the government. The government finds out about the craziness and wants to contain the town, AKA fuck everything up.

The film was directed by Breck Eisner, which is a great surprise to me. He directed one of the biggest movie flops of all time, Sahara (2005) starring the dreadful Matthew McConaughey. I never saw it and never plan to but this has to be a step up. Breck does an excellent job in directing this film. His camera work in the movie definitely adds suspense to the movie, and it adds a nice style to it. He also gets some extremely intense shots, whether they be traditional still shots, motion shots, or jumping shots (going from one spot to another quickly). Everything he does seem to be just right and brilliant. He does an excellent job of making this remake modern, but still keeping it campy and enjoyable.

Breck does an excellent job of guiding this film on the right path. It’s definitely scary, with some intense action, good jumps, and an entertainment value that is priceless. Sure this movie has some clichés, but that’s the writers fault, and Breck doesn’t let that get in the way of his directing, another good skill he has; working with a flawed script. He is set to direct the remake of Flash Gordon (1980) a movie that I watched and like as a child myself, though it was on DVD. That’s set to come out in 2012 and after what he’s done with this I’m excited for that remake, probably the first time I’ve ever said that.

The acting in this movie… isn’t actually that bad! It is not what I’d call Oscar worthy, or even good on a standard of a Drama. But as far as Horror movies go, or even remakes, this is a great acted. But in the perspective of all movies, it’s just good. Timothy Olyphant plays his role very well, a typical horror lead with actually a little bit more. He plays the handsome (not my words), tough, hero of the film that must save the day. He does all that very well, which is definitely a turn of roles considering he is usually the bad guy. Recently he has been taking lead good guy roles and I like it. He plays the role with a certain seriousness that really makes me think of a cowboy in an old western. I really liked Timothy, I think he’s a good actor and this is just another movie in the bag for him. He was literally meant for this role, because I can’t picture anyone else doing as good as he did. He could be on the level as spectacular. This is nothing revolutionary, or Oscar worthy, but he does good at what he was going for, a classic role that’s been done but he does it in a good way that’s entertaining.

The supporting cast did good, but nothing spectacular like Olyphant. Radha Mitchell plays Olyphant’s wife who is a doctor. She is just a typical damsel in distress, but she wasn’t an annoying character, which is a great thing for damsel everywhere. Usually a damsel will be very annoying and intolerable but she does good at what she was going for. Joe Anderson plays Olyphant’s Deputy, and he, like the others, does what he was going for. He’s your classic southern boy, born and bred. The only other movie I saw him in was Across the Universe (2007) which I liked him in, but this is a completely different role. He starts off as that lovable sidekick that is always a good fun to have around, for audience and the character’s purposes pleasure. Then as the movie progresses he slowly starts getting a little more… southerner, but in a Deliverance kind of way… so not a good thing. Danielle Panabker is just another DID, and her role is basically the same as Radha’s, only not as good. She was kind of annoying at times because she does nothing, but at least there were times when Radha kicked ass. Nothing really worth talking about. All the crazies, by the way, do an excellent job at being crazy. They didn’t get any extras, they got good actors to do these roles, and you can tell.

The screenplay was written by Scott Kosar & Ray Wright. Both have experience in the horror, and remake, field. The movie is definitely suspenseful and completes what it attempts to be. A fun, at times scary, horror movie. Sure the movie has clichés, and that’s what holds it back from being better. But at times the clichés are needed, like in the beginning, but as the movie progresses they just get old and not needed. The ending also feels kind iffy. But it tries to stay in the vein of a B movie and it does just that. But sometimes the campy feeling, AKA bad writing feels old and used too many times nowadays. Though I do like the pacing of the movie. It jumps right into the story and develops characters as it goes along, instead of in the beginning. The first scene is very intense that I was on the edge of my seat; it contains a high school baseball game, a nice sunny day, and a drunk with a shotgun, only he’s not drunk. Yeah, it’s that cool.

This movie accomplishes what it goes for, that’s all, but that’s also a good thing. It didn’t try to be something it wasn’t and it ends up just being a good flick. Also there is a debate whether or not this is a zombie movie or not, I consider it one if most people can consider 28 Days Later one. Because in that nobody was ever dead, they were infected with a virus of rage. In this they were infected with a virus of craziness. Case closed, I win.

Movie Review: The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

5/5

When the 2009 Oscars happened, there were a lot of shockers. Hurt Locker beating out Avatar, Precious winning best adapted screenplay over Up in the Air. But the biggest shocker for me was the fact that The White Ribbon didn’t win Best Foreign Language Film. I thought the movie was stupendous, flawless, and a masterpiece. It had all the buzz to go with it too, my personal pick was A Prophet which I would have been extremely happy if won. But neither won and some Argentinian movie that I had never heard of won, The Secret In Their Eyes. From that point on I was curious to see it, and now my curiosity has been filled, the verdict? You’ll have to read and find out.

The Secret In Their Eyes is a detective, thriller, romance, and even a comedy at parts. It has all the elements for a great film, and it pulls it off miraculously. The Secret In Their Eyes is about Detective Benjamin Esposito (played by Ricardo Darin) who has now retired, and with his retirement he wants to write a book. He plans to base his book off the Morales case; a case he investigated 25 years ago that ended with a lot of questions unanswered. The case was of a girl who was raped and murdered and the things they uncover are of epic proportions. The movie jumps back and forth between when the investigation took place and while Benjamin tries to recall the events which took place. There is also a side plot in which Benjamin falls for his younger, and wealthier, boss Irene Hastings (played by Soledad Villamil).

The plot may sound complex and it is, it’s full of rich creative writing and is definitely the best part of the movie. The movie also contains amazing direction, good acting, great cinematography, art direction, costume design, and many other things. This is a great movie, but how great?

The first aspect of the movie I am going to critique is the direction. The film was masterfully directed by Juan Jose Campanella, and this was his first feature length that he has done in a long while. Juan’s skills behind the camera are undeniably great, everything about it is terrific. From the simple shots to the most complex, all have a powerfulness behind it so strong it only enhances the movies greatness. He furthers the excellent story on it’s journey and helps it unfold, never taking anything away from it. His skills behind the camera remind me a lot of Alfonso Cuaron and the work he did in one of my all time favorites Children of Men (2006). It has a gritty feeling to it, and the camera seems to be in constant motion, but not shaky cam. I HATE SHAKY CAM!

But the most impressive scene in the movie is due to the direction. It’s a single cut shot, definitely my favorite kind of shot in movie history, five minutes or so of perfection. It starts with an overhead view of a soccer stadium with load, roaring fans, and it slowly pans in. We eventually get to Benjamin and his partner Pablo (amazingly played by Guillermo Francella) as they believe the prime suspect will be there. They shift through the crowd and finally they find the man their looking for. From there on goes a high-speed on foot pursuit of the suspect, going into a bathroom, jumping off a balcony. The whole scene is the high point of the movie, and the intensity is cranked up to 11. The camera is all one cut and could get shaky at times, but it doesn’t matter here. Every single moment in it is pure intensity, my jaw little dropped in awe. Brilliantly crafted scene.

The acting is great in this movie. Ricardo Darin is a good lead. He plays both young and old Benjamin, the young is a fiery detective who seeks the truth. The old is a worn out man with a solemn look in his eye he wants to recall the past, and at the same time forget it. The role takes skill to play, and he does well. He doesn’t really give anything memorable per say, but he does his job, and in the end of the day that’s what counts right? He has been called a Pacino like actor, and it makes sense, well a young Pacino. He definitely has the chops to be a great actor, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a huge star in Argentina. There are some dramatic moments but it seems like he is always in the same mood, except for when he is in awestruck by his love interest that will never happen. A good performance, but not great.

The supporting cast is pretty good too. Soledad Villamil is good as Benjamin’s boss and his “Juliet”.  She like Ricardo really does nothing memorable, but does the part right. Her character is similar too, a young and old, fiery and worn out. The real highlights though come from the three supporting men. Guillermo Francella, Benjamin’s partner and the hilarious comic relief in the movie, Pablo Rago as Riacardo Morales, the husband of the victim, and Javier Godino as Gomez, the prime suspect. Now Guillermo definitely deserved an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, he is phenomenal. Everything he does is like magic on the screen, he’s funny and can be completely serious. One scene in which he gets completely dramatic is heartbreaking, because the plays the part so well. He is the character, he made me believe that that was really him, and I fell in love. Pablo is also heartbreaking, but that’s what the character is. He pulls out your heart strings and doesn’t let go. I remember his face still, every single expression, just a brilliantly played part. Now Javier Godino was more of a physcically role, because he didn’t speak much, but he just looked the part, and that was good enough for me.

The movie was written by Juan Jose Campanella and Eduardo Sacheri, who wrote the book in which this is based off of. The story is definitely one of the best of the year, maybe the decade. It has all the elements of a great movie, comedy, thrills, suspense, romance, and it blends it so perfectly in a story that is engaging from start to finish. I was interested the whole movie, even though it did feel a tad bit long. I was completely interested and wanted it to keep going while watching. This is a story for the ages, the makings of a classic, this would be a classic if it came out 60 years ago or so. It’s a story so familiar, that is works in being unconventionally different. It’s a brilliant story and maybe even deserved the award for Best Adapted screenplay.

Overall this is a fantastic movie. It is at number 5 of my top 10 of 2009, and a movie that I would love to watch again and again. It’s a powerful story with amazing direction, and a good cast, and just great technical wise. It has great cinematography and art direction to go with it. A brilliant movie, and a must see.

Hello world! A Little Introduction

Hello world! This is going to be a little introduction to the site, and what it will provide.

Yes this is going to be yet another Movie and Music review site, but with more. There will also be analysis, lists, and parties! Well maybe not parties, but fun. I will provide brutally honest reviews and get to the point and speak my voice.

I will try to write as many movie reviews as I can. I used to have a blog called Ritz Reviews, yes it was me. I was also a user on rotten tomatoes (actually two); FJ, and OneCriticToRuleThemAll (I had a conceded phase). I also wrote for the websites; ItsJustMovies and The Critical Critics, but I have inevitably stopped with both, so here I am!

Music I have never formally written reviews for, but have been a faithful listener of it! I listen to all kinds, except country (DIE COUNTRY, DIE)! I will review all albums fairly and honestly nonetheless. I will start reviewing new albums weekly starting in 2011, but until then it will random and spastic with reviews of albums I just decide to listen to!

And expect lists a-plenty!

- Frank

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