Beginners (2010)

Beginners (2010) – Okay, I just have to start off with the fact that the trailers for this movie make it look like a comedy with some serious undertones when in fact it is the other way around. That is not a complaint about the movie; that is a complaint about the marketing. All in … Continue reading

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) – Gary Oldman is an actor who can go wildly over-the-top. That’s not a bad thing. Some of his larger-than-life characters have been the best things in movies like Léon or Air Force One. His sneering Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy or his Old World emo vampire in Bram … Continue reading

The Artist (2011)

The Artist (2011) – I’ve been bemoaning the lack of new silent films for a while now, and it looks like they heard me in France. I think more than anything, The Artist proves that techniques never become obsolete as long as someone can come along to use them in a profound way. That’s why … Continue reading

Young Adult (2011)

Young Adult (2011) – As I have mentioned before, the films of Jason Reitman tend to take character would be unsympathetic (a tobacco lobbyist, a pregnant hipster teen, and a corporate hatchet man) and gets you almost root for them. Young Adult doesn’t quite follow that formula. Charlize Theron definitely plays an unlikable character but … Continue reading

War Horse (2011)

War Horse (2011) – Some movies you can tell just by the trailers that they’re designed to pull tears from the toughest of men. Some reach this goal, some don’t. They’re rarely the type of Oscar-worthy prestige movies they think they are. One man who can stir sentiment to remarkable results is Steven Spielberg. His … Continue reading

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

The Adventures of Tintin (2011) – So nothing about the trailer for this movie really grabbed me and said “JAKE, SEE THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW.” In fact most of it sort of indicated “wait for disc,” but there were some things that led me to believe there could be more to it than meets the … Continue reading

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) – So in the month since I’ve seen the latter, I’ve still not quite made up my mind whose film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I prefer: Niels Arden Oplev or David Fincher. The Swedish Dragon Tattoo is the only film of Oplev’s I’ve ever … Continue reading

The Great Dictator (1940)

The Great Dictator (1940) – Short version: I love this movie so, so much. Longer version: It goes to figure that when Charlie Chaplin finally decided to talk, he really had something to say. Picking on Adolph Hitler may seem like going after low-hanging fruit. I mean, we live in the post-Mel Brooks era. Making … Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) – Well let me cut to the chase (before I pad this out): how you feel about Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows really depends on how you felt about Guy Ritchie’s 2009 Sherlock Holmes because in a lot of ways it’s just more of the same. I, … Continue reading

Bronson (2008)

Bronson (2009) – Two films in, I have yet to make up my mind about Nicolas Winding Refn. I rather liked Drive but its flaws kept me from gushing about it as much as some people have. Bronson is a different animal altogether. If Drive is Refn aping the style of Michael Mann, then Bronson … Continue reading