I know I recently referenced my 2006 movie list, but I thought I’d point out these recent additions. April has been a very rewarding month, movie-wise:
Inside Man – 7.5/10 – A
heck of a cast, and I’ve always liked Spike Lee’s work. It was overly long (we
could have done without the usual Lee commentary on racism), and the plot twists
sure didn’t fool me (and I’m easy to fool). An ordinary movie, but well-crafted.
For once, I actually noticed a
glaring goof (spoiler ahead) listed on IMDB.
Thank You For Smoking – 9/10 – A clever, satirical take on the tobacco industry in the vein of one of my favourite films, Wag the Dog. Aaron Eckhart is the Mattias Norstrom (obscure reference there) of Hollywood–one of the most underrated actors in the league. The supporting cast is great as well, with some creative and unlikely casting choices (Rob Lowe is enormously funny). My one complaint–I never fully understood where Eckhart’s character stood on tobacco–the movie studiously ignored that question. Regardless, a funny and thoughtful film. Something to look for: how many people actually smoke in this film?
Slither – 7/10 – It’s a gooey, gross comedy-horror flick, and it’s pretty amusing. There are all the usual elements–asteroid plummets to earth, girl in distress, brave town sheriff, gooey squid monster in the woods and so on. Nathan Fillian is great as the sheriff, and Elizabeth Banks (see also Catch Me if You Can) makes a decent female lead. Unfortunately, the film never found an audience.
Lucky Number Slevin – 7.5/10 – A cousin to Pulp Fiction, this film’s as much a ‘what’s going on’ film as a who-dunnit. The cast is fantastic. Supporting roles include Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello. I expected to be disappointed by Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu, two actors whose work I’ve never cared for. That said, they didn’t embarrass themselves. The film’s plot is actually pretty predictable, but it’s an enjoyable ride. Plus, the set design is gorgeous.
Brick – 8.5/10 – In film noir, trouble always starts with a blonde. Brick is no exception. Rian Johnson’s directorial debut is a mashup of film noir and high school life. The dialogue is pure thirties noir, but the settings are high school parking lots and suburban basements. It’s a gimmick, but a highly effective one. The film’s aesthetic reminded me of Ghostworld or Better Luck Tomorrow–Anywhere, Suburban America. The performances are pretty sound–I instantly fell in love with Nora Zehetner, who plays the femme fatale. The lead, if you can imagine, is the 24-year-old Joseph Gordon-Levitt, most recognizable as the sass-mouthed youngest child from Third Rock from the Sun.