Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some reviews - and written just for Slapinions!

When we started the DVD of The Killer Inside Me, Lisa asked what I considered the definition of film noir. "It's a crime movie," I said, "But dark and tragic. There's no real good guys, and it usually ends pretty bad for all the characters."

After the movie (which she loved) Lisa turned to me and said "Yup, that's noir all right."

I already mentioned Lisa loved the film, which stars Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Warren Beatty and Jessica Alba. As for me, I very much enjoyed the first and last third of the film but felt the middle sagged and lost my attention. Still, a very good flick.

Oh, and phoeey to actors who say their jobs aren't cushy. The guy got to roll around naked with Hudson and Alba and was paid for the privilege. I should be so lucky.

Speaking of noir, The Social Network fits the bill, even if it didn't involve a crime (or, if you side with some folks, merely a white-collar crime). It was dark - in tone, in setting, in the filmwork and soundtrack - and there were precious few good guys in sight. I don't know how much of it is true, and I don't care; it was a great, great film. I hope it wins the Oscar.

The film did inspire me to read the book on which it was based, The Accidental Billionares - The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich.

As a read it's quick, juicy, and entertaining. As journalism . . . blech. It's no suprise the people who agreed to an interview are treated kindly, while those who refused are crucified. I don't pretend to know where the unadulterated truth lies, but I'm reasonably certain this opinionated work is nowhere close to the mark.

* * *

The Town is a tale of robbery and violence in Boston's Charlestown. Ben Affleck, who both starred in and directed the film, did a fine job. Some of the action sequences were the best I've seen in years, and Lisa and I both give the movie a big thumbs up.

The same night we watched The Town and The Social Network, we also rented Renee Zellweger's Case 39, a horror film of the Demon Seed variety. To our surprise, the film was pretty damn good. Not a mad night for movies, eh?

Alas, Mr. Woodcock did not win our favor. It's a fun concept that was executed very poorly. Characters acted at odds with themsleves and with reality. Apologize? APOLOGOIZE??? To a sadistic, child abusing madman? Yeah, uh, NO. A waste of time. Crap.

Continuing our string of TV via Netflix, we've finished Season Five of Top Chef (NY). I disagree with giving Hosea the crown. Sure, he was my favorite and he aced the final, but overall Steffan was the better chef. Oh, well.

A few weeks ago our friend Chris bought Michael Jackson's Michael. It's not a bad album, but to my ears it's too retro. Would MJ have put out an album with the same sound that he used twenty years ago? I don't think so. Then again, what the heck do I know? I will say, the first track 'Hold My Hand' is quite good.

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