Ain’t Them Bodies Saints doesn’t rewrite the rule book or transform the genre in any way that’s new or different and that’s okay. When a movie is as close to perfectly constructed as this, when the acting is this universally excellent, not being the most original noir in the backwoods Texas hill country is just fine with me.
The fine line that Vaughn and company attempted to walk is blurred considerably, incoming writer/director Jeff Wadlow (Cry_Wolf) more interested in embracing the more exploitive aspects of the narrative instead of having a discussion about the ethically complex societal constructs the existence of these real-life heroes generates. He revels in the blood splatter, lets loose with the ultra-violence, letting things culminate in a showdown between teen boys with daddy issues instead of anything even remotely substantive.
Precious might have been a homerun for Daniels, but I’m starting to think it might be his only one, and while this film certainly improves upon the laughably mediocre The Paperboy (which, it must be admitted, was also exceedingly well acted) it’s flaws are much too glaring and obvious to be laid aside entirely. Still, thanks to the cast, indebted in some respects to Strong’s intelligently layered script, Lee Daniels’ The Butler is worthy of a look, if only to see Winfrey’s triumphant return in all its spellbinding glory.
Prince Avalanche isn’t loud. It doesn’t bark out its intentions in the first frame or seem interested in being more than the sum of its tiny, intimately woven parts. It’s leisurely paced and doesn’t spell everything out, Green assuming the viewer will be smart enough to put the pieces together for themselves and decide on their own what the final truths as to what Alvin and Lance have experienced and witnessed mean for their respective futures.
In a World… isn’t just born out of LaFontaine’s iconic trailer catchphrase, it lives up to it, and imagining a world that this particular motion picture doesn’t exist within one I personally do not want to ponder.
The script has issues, way too many of them, and it isn’t like the great stuff is so good as to make up for the bits and baubles that fall short (way, way short). We’re the Millers just isn’t a disaster, and considering how badly it treats two of its main characters and the ways that it seems to be making itself up as it goes along this in and of itself is a trait almost worth celebrating. Almost.
Would I watch 2 Guns again? Maybe, when it shows up on Cable and I’m folding laundry, this thin piece of comic book inspired hokum might fit the bill perfectly.
Fruitvale Station will undoubtedly be seen in context of current events, and in many ways that’s both to be expected as well as perfectly fine. But on its own, as a stand-alone release depicting a tragic true story with candor, grace and realism, Coogler’s movie makes as indelible an impact as anything I’m likely to see in all of 2013.
Made with style, imagination, confidence and panache, [The Conjuring (2013)] gets under the skin right away and then stays there for the remainder of its innervating 112 minutes, building to a solidly sinister and unsettling finale that had the audience I watched it with on collectively disquieted pins and needles.