Monday, January 19, 2009

This Week In Tickets: 12 January 2009 to 18 January 2009

Memo to self: Do not do a four-hour movie on Sunday night if you want this up by Monday morning (and intend to actually work on Monday)!

This Week In Tickets!

... To be fair, I probably wouldn't have done that if Benicio Del Toro wasn't appearing in person on the 18th and 19th. It was an interesting Q&A, although I don't think I was as enthused about the subject matter as the rest of the audience.

The Wrestler

* * * ½ (out of four)
Seen 13 January 2009 at AMC Harvard Square #3 (first-run)

Very nice work by Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei here as a pair of friends, possibly headed toward more, who are aging out of their less-than glamorous professions (pro wrestler and stripper). It's an obvious parallel, sure, but one the film never tries to make too explicit. Though most of the spotlight is going on Rourke, Tomei is just as good as the woman recognizing that she's nearing the end of the road (while Rourke's Randy has a hard time accepting it).

Despite being the director's most grounded-in-reality film yet, it definitely has the look and feel of a Darren Aranofsky film. He's got a way of getting the camera in uncomfortably close to his characters while still giving the audience a look at their world. Robert D. Siegel's script is also impressive, and Randy is a wonderful creation - a man who has hit the top and bottomed out, seemingly content in his new life but unable to let go.

Repo Man

* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 13 January 2009 at the Brattle Theatre (The Brattle Selects)

Gonna be honest here: That was a long day at work, I was full of food (they really stuff you during the company meeting, to make amends for you being at the company meeting), and I'd already seen The Wrestler that evening. I didn't really stand a chance with Repo Man.

It's a fun little movie, and I'll likely enjoy it at the sci-fi marathon if I go this year. It's goofy, but sincerely so, in the way all the pre-fabricated cult movies of today don't quite capture. I'm not terribly fond of Emilio Estevez here, but I love Harry Dean Stanton in this; there's something wonderfully gruff and off-kilter about his performance. "A Repo Man is always intense", indeed.


* * * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 14 January 2009 at the Brattle Theatre (The Brattle Selects)

Man... The rest of the horror movie world just hasn't caught up with early John Carpenter at all, has it? The other horror movie I saw this week, My Bloody Valentine, is positively anemic compared to this, mere violence compared to the nightmarish ideas that Cronenberg comes up with and puts on the screen. He also bites the hand that feeds him far more eloquently than most, asking what sort of sickos want to see this sort of thing.

And, in a thing that pleases me irrationally, the main computer in the TV station's video room is an Atari 800 (and James Woods's character clearly has a 2600 hooked up to his TV at home). I love those old Atari machines.

The Reader

* * * (out of four)
Seen 16 January 2009 at Landmark Kendall Square #9 (First-run)

The Kate Winslet movie that people really should be seeing this winter. It's a wonderful meditation on sex, guilt, and shame, with a small but fascinating plot twist in the middle that makes it even more interesting. It gets more fascinating as it goes along, and I like how it handles its sex: The movie is somewhat titillating early on, but takes repsonsibility for it by the end - the older woman taking advantage of the teenage boy does long-lasting damage, but not in an overwrought, hammy way.
The WrestlerRepo ManVideodromeThe ReaderLast Chance HarveyMy Bloody ValentineChe

1 comment:

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