Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I watched on my break

It's time once again to play catch-up, with various titles I've viewed since our last game. First, the titles new to the big screen. 

Buried: It's 90 minutes of Ryan Reynolds in a coffin. While at one time, that would have been appealing in a cynical way, now it's the basis for a terrific film  The entire picture takes place inside the coffin buried underground, with Reynolds in it. Director Rodrigo Cortes keeps the film visually interesting with an impressive array of camera angles, editing techniques and other surprises, while Reynolds delivers an emotionally intense performance. Screw all that usual Halloween junk - this is the scariest film I've seen in quite some time. GRADE: A

Never Let Me Go: Some people proclaim this sci fi drama a stirring masterpiece. Others proclaim it cold and aloof.  As happens often in such debates, I identify with both sides. The pacing is a bit too stilted, and I felt the clinical storytelling kept me at arm's length from the film - and yet I can't get it out of my head. I think that's due primarily to the strong performances, particularly by the haunting Carey Mulligan. GRADE: B

Nowhere Boy: This biopic of John Lennon's teenage years covers territory familiar to most fans and is occasionally a bit maudlin, but it works surprisingly well thanks to the three key performances. Aaron Johnson  impresses as Lennon, particularly considering his last role was the title character in Kick-Ass. Anne-Marie Duff is lively and fetching as Lennon's ill-fated mother Julia, while Kristin Scott Thomas shows impressive range with her performance as the stern but loving Aunt Mimi. The other acting surprise? Thomas Sangster, Liam Neeson's son in Love, Actually, plays Paul McCartney. So much for his favorite Beatle being Ringo. GRADE: B+

Coming soon: The retro films I watched.

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