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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recent movies

I've been on a bit of a movie-watching spurt lately, many of which have been good. My thoughts on a few:

Avatar - Impressive and immersive visually...and a surprising amount of social comment for a mainstream blockbuster. I enjoyed it, but it's also the least-subtle movie I've seen in a long time.

The Road - After seeing Avatar in the afternoon, I saw The Road that evening. With its dreary post-apocalyptic world and plodding action, it made for a seriously manic day of culture. The film was well-acted, which is important because of the extent to which it focuses on the two characters. Having read the book, I was surprised how closely it was followed. I recall that the NYT review said it wasn't quite grim enough to match the book, a point on which I would have to disagree.

Up in the Air - I thought this movie was very well-executed, as well as the right mix of funny and contemplative. After not giving him due consideration previously, I'm willing to admit that Clooney is a skilled actor.

Man on Wire - I highly recommend this documentary about Philippe Petit's famous, illicit high-wire walk between the Twin Towers as they were still being completed in 1977. The film is well-made, and the style seems influenced by Errol Morris. But the real attraction here is a plot that would be implausible if it were fiction, as well as the uniqueness of Petit's outlook on life.

The King of Kong (A Fistful of Quarters) - This great documentary focuses on a rivalry between competitive Donkey Kong players. The characters are neon-bright (and garish) -- I had to keep reminding myself that they actually exist. The director brings it all to the screen in a compelling way, building up the story between the characters as you would in a fiction film. It's on Netflix on-demand -- go watch it.


Zach said...

One of the cannibals in The Road applied to live in my spare room ... I made him an offer and am waiting to hear back.

Teague said...

Well, at least he does have ingenuity...