Sunday, February 5, 2012
Weekly Round-Up (1/29/12 - 2/4/12)
Haywire (Steven Soderbergh) **1/2 - This is an interesting piece of work. What it is, it's essentially a pure B-movie plot done in the distinctive Soderbergh-style, almost arthouse in its look and pacing. It sort of/kind of works but it would have been better if Gina Carano was a slightly better actress. She kicks ass extremely well but she's a barely adequate actress. The supporting cast (except for Channing Tatum, who's slightly BELOW adequate) give interesting performances. All in all, a nice try.
Voyage to Italy (Roberto Rossellini) **** - A married couple from England travel to Italy to sell off the house inherited to them by a dead relative and soon they realize how fragile their marriage really is. Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders are terrific as the couple and director Roberto Rossellini's use of the sights and sounds of Italy to juxtapose and reflect on the couple's relationship lends a lot of complexity and layers to the film. It's a fantastic piece of filmmaking.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (Blake Edwards) **** - I saw this as doing my part to commemorate my friend, Damien Bona (see post below) since this is his favorite film of all time. Though I don't rate it as highly as he does, I do think it is one of the best romantic comedies ever made. Mickey Rooney's offensive yellow-face performance as an offensive Japanese stereotype should NOT tarnish its reputation.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher) *** - Having already read the book and seen the original Swedish adaptation, this English-language version of the same story holds very little surprises. Apart from the terrific opening titles sequence, David Fincher's filmmaking style actually does not do all that much to make this any more than just a solid thriller. Overall, i think the Swedish original film was better as an adaptation. I do however think that Rooney Mara made a better Lisabeth Salandar than Noomi Rapace. She is EXACTLY how I imagined the character to be when I read the book. It's not one of Fincher's best works.
Chronicle (Josh Trank) ***1/2 - I was very wary of the "found footage" format of this film. But I was surprised by how much it actually worked, at least for the most part. This film manages to combine two genres that are starting to show signs of fatigue and twisted it enough to make it new and fresh. It is a terrifically entertaining, above-average superhero movie (or should I say, an anti-superhero movie). It helps that the actors lend an air of credibility. Dane DeHaan in particular was terrific and he's an actor to watch out for, I believe.