Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekly Round-Up (12/2/12 - 12/8/12)

Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik) *** - A couple of idiots rob a illegal mob high-stakes card game and Brad Pitt plays the hit man tasked to clean the mess up, so to speak. Andrew Dominik's previous effort, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a near-masterpiece and not an easy act to follow and he acquits himself well here. I don't understand the alleged "F" this film received by Cinema Score or something like that. It's far from a perfect film but it's beautifully shot and very well-acted (James Gandolfini is a stand-out). The financial crisis allegory was a bit too on-the-nose and it could have used more dark humor. 

Caesar Must Die (Paolo Taviani/Vittorio Taviani) *** - A group of prisoners put together a production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. I read that the convicts that performed in this film were ACTUAL convicts which makes this film somehow even better. The entire "power of art" angle is nothing new (and the film doesn't do anything special with it) and the last line of the film mars it a little bit. But even so, you will find yourself swept up with both the narrative of the prisoner's story and the narrative of the play itself which the prisoners and convicts perform exceptionally well. 

Flashback Memories (Tetsuaki Matsue) ***1/2 -  (see below)

Television (Mostafa Sarwar Farooki) ***1/2  - (see below)

Juvenile Offender (Yi-kwan Kang) ***1/2 -  (see below)

Pusang Gala (Stray Cat) (Mario O'Hara) ***1/2 -  (see below)

The Great Cinema Party (Raya Martin) *** - (see below)

Light in the Yellow Breathing Space (Vimukthi Jayasundara) **1/2 - (see below)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Despite the mixed comments about it from many, I'm still looking forward to seeing Killing Them Softly. The original title was better, though, although I can't recall what it was.