Monthly Archives: January 2011


The Dilemma – 6

2011-01-30T12:09:49+00:00January 30th, 2011|Reviews|

A little Vince Vaughan goes a long way, and this film gives us a lot. The female leads - Jennifer Connelly and Winona Ryder - are quite restrained and wonderful, and the story is, surprise, full of surprises, but the Vaughan-Kevin James bromance is rather more than the other elements can handle. It's more serious [...]

Small Town Murder Songs – 8

2011-01-30T11:54:27+00:00January 30th, 2011|Reviews|

I would coin the term "reality film" for movies like this, except that, fictional as it is, it is so much more real than anything you see on "reality TV." Peter Stormare's psychologically chinless small town police chief is as far from a "movie star" as you would want to see on the big screen, [...]

Black Swan – 8.5

2011-01-30T11:32:39+00:00January 30th, 2011|Reviews|

Powerful, ambiguous, provocative horror film, set in the world of ballet but mostly in Nina (Natalie Portman)'s mind. I went to see it as a duty, to round out my Oscar list, having overdosed on the trailer, but found the shots that turned me off in previews were compelling in context. The best surprise was [...]

Blue Valentine – 7

2011-01-16T14:24:51+00:00January 16th, 2011|Reviews|

With so many movies revolving around meeting cute, courting and ending with, finally, marriage, it was nice to see a story that started five years down the line with the marriage fraying. It then told us the usual story, this time in flashbacks, so we could see how Ryan and Michelle had ended up together, [...]

The King’s Speech 7.5

2011-01-15T18:55:59+00:00January 15th, 2011|Reviews|

What acting! Colin Firth was superb in last year's A Single Man, but his portrayal of the stammering King George VI is a tour de force. Geoffrey Rush is no slouch, either, as his commoner tutor. Beyond the acting, though, the film struck me as somewhat trivial. Why? Because I've never heard of George VI? [...]

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – 7.5

2011-01-13T22:53:17+00:00January 13th, 2011|Reviews|

For my money, this Oliver Stone rendering did a better job explaining and skewering the recent Wall Street meltdown than Inside Job. Michael Douglas was more interesting, mesmerizing, and significant than any of the bit players interviewed by Charles Ferguson. If love makes the world go around, greed comes a pretty close second.

True Grit – 7

2011-01-13T22:49:34+00:00January 13th, 2011|Reviews|

Great style, but not much substance, this makes one wonder if the Western genre is "all played out." The one novelty was the flowery and erudite diction, spoken principally by the precocious 14-year-old. Beyond that, every move was one we'd seen before, and Jeff Bridges gave us a little too much Jeff Bridges, coming so [...]