Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Town

The movie is about a gang of 4 criminals (some not so petty, but some related to one another) who have been together a long time and live in Charlestown, MA. You won't recognize everyone in this film, but you will recognize Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner- who could be called Stretch and Stubby. Renner seems to get shorter and shorter as the movie progresses. It's like he's shrinking. Hamm plays the FBI head as Don Draperish as he can- which is too bad. He should be more versatile. The gang gets together for a major heist even though they know the FBI is on to them. I have to say, it is a really good movie- there is palpable tension and best of all, the chase scenes are well-timed and worth watching. Regular Flickerchick followers (and I do love you) know how much I hate lengthy and ridiculous car chases or ski chases or boat chases. They waste time and hurt the pace of the film. But finally a movie has it right. I liked this movie much more than I thought I would. I do highly recommend it if you like just enough shooting, just enough car chases and just enough plot. I felt like the baby bear- it was just right.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The American

Lord help us all. George Clooney is going to have to learn to work a little harder. This morose and boring film indulges itself and its star at every point. It's chock full of Italians because it really takes place in Italy. You just aren't going to believe half-no, make that MOST, of it. If you can ever figure out what it is really about. The first twenty minutes are your cue that you might want to go to another theatre and slip into another film, because the movie does NOT get better. Clooney must have thought this slow and deliberate crap (sans explanation of any motive or real plot) would escalate him into the rank of artsy. Instead, you sit for almost two hours wishing you had one of his guns and you could put a few holes in the screen before you scream you've had enough. I want my money back. And I might write Mr Clooney at his environmentally friendly villa (sarcasm here) on Lake Como and ask for him to send me $18. OH yeah, plus popcorn, so $116. You get to see another side of Italy, but it's kind of same old same old. You will be asked to believe that no one is on the streets of the small towns in Italy where police seem not to really notice the bodies around, and you will be asked to believe that an incredibly gorgeous young woman could be a two bit hooker because no one will have her. Jeez louise. Tedious. Awful. Period. I am giving it no stars because Clooney is too experienced to pull this mess on us.

Get Low

Robert Duvall has a curmudgeonly turn as a rustic recluse (think Boo Radley) with a reputation for being a dangerous and crazy sort. He wants his funeral done before he dies so he can hear the stories about him. He harbors a secret about his first love. The movie builds and builds until the truth outs- but unfortunately, it's a real let down. This is the part where YOU get low. But, up until that point, there is a well acted, well directed charm about this movie. Just don't expect a decent ending. Sissy Spacek does her part as the sister of the first love. Bill Murray is always believable as a low key funeral director who seems capable of bad behavior at any moment. I'd say you should see if it you can, and definitely rent it at some point. It manages to be interesting without being overwrought.