Cinema News and Reviews for the Rest of Us

Quarantine Alert!!! (and some movies)

So I’ve had the flu this week, and haven’t been feeling up to updating the site as much as I intended to now that my grueling summer job is over.  But here is a quick breakdown of some films I’ve watched recently.  I’ll have a couple review up soon (Winter’s Bone, The Expendables).  Don’t go away for good!

Time of the Wolf

This is second tier work from Euro-auteur Michael Haneke, but second tier Haneke still blows the doors off the best of almost everyone else.  Following a French family after an unknown apocalyptic disaster, it features the director’s eye for brilliant images and a healthy dose of his merciless moralism.  Not up there with Cache or The White Ribbon, but stirring and provocative nonetheless. (4 stars)

The Prestige

Those who talk films with me know the high regard I have for this one.  It’s not a masterpiece in the Christopher Nolan filmography (The Dark Knight and now Inception), as the plot clanks a little more loudly than in those films and there a few gaps likely caused by time constraints.  But it’s damn close.  Some of Christian Bale’s best work to date. (5 STARS)

A Prophet

This French prison drama is amazingly detailed and it effectively delves into mightily complex European race relations, but it’s not the wonder that the foreign festival circuit made it out to be.  The primary reason is that I just did not find the lead to be compelling enough.  French-Arab actor Tahar Rahim plays his part with great specificity, but considering he’s on screen for just about the entire film, he wasn’t a performer I wanted to spend that much time with.  Very bland screen presence.  This is still a very good film, but it beating Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon for anything last year is a joke.  Not on the same level.  (4 STARS)

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