THIS WEEK IN THEATRES...
* Hancock, light entertainment with good action, a great cast, and a fun premise. Not perfect, but I was never bored. I think a lot of criticism of the film's back half is pretty much correct, but it kind of didn't matter because I was enjoying myself and I was on a high when I left (I really do like the "big" finish). Roger Ebert gave it three stars and said, "a lot of fun, if perhaps a little top-heavy with stuff being destroyed." There you go.
Early reviews are making me think we have another The Love Guru on our hands. My peers in film criticism had a field day trashing that film, but I thought it would be disingenuous to do so given how often I laughed during it. Was it a bad film? Yeah, pretty much. But I had seen the better-made Get Smart the day before and laughed a lot less. Sometimes higher criticism might have to take a back seat to what it was actually like sitting in the theatre.
Which sounds like I am pussyfooting around my Hancock recommendation. I'm not. Unlike The Love Guru, about which I threw up my hands in person and said I wasn't going to tell anyone face to face that they had to see it, I've had no problem telling people to go see Hancock. So, go see it.
Unless you haven't seen Wall*E, which is as perfect of a film as you're ever going to see and must be seen NOW.
THIS WEEK IN DVD REVIEWS...
* Cassandra's Dream, the most recent of Woody Allen's British period, a morality play that's substance is sometimes overshadowed by its familiarity.
* The Furies - Criterion Collection, a Greek tragedy, a mythic Western, Anthony Mann's strange gender-bending genre bender has it all. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)
* Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, Paul Schrader's astounding biopic of the controversial Japanese author Yukio Mishima gets an equally astounding two-disc edition. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)
* Neil Diamond - The Thank You Australia Concert: Live 1976, with the man at the top of his form. Be sure to watch the extras to hear Neil's wisdom: "Watch the donut, not the hole."
* Sophia Loren 4-Film Collection, a 50/50 collection of films starring the actress ranging from 1954 to 1970. Of note are a musical extravaganza celebrating Naples and a Vittorio De Sica picture co-starring Marcello Mastroianni.
UPDATED TO CRITERION CONFESSIONS...
This week's reviews written specifically for the site are:
* Before the Rain, a Macedonian film tackling the very notion of the circle of life, showing how the world is no different regardless of the streets you run.
* Billy Liar, a lively Kitchen Sink dramedy with Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie as small-town youths looking for an escape in 1960s England.
* Patriotism, Yukio Mishima's long lost film concerning duty, a short modern Noh drama about a soldier and his wife taking their own life.
Current Soundtrack: Dirty Pretty Things, Romance at Short Notice
Current Mood: hot
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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich