Coens delicately master ‘True Grit’
Jeff Bridges stars in “True Grit.”
- “True Grit”
★★★★ (out of four)
2010, Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S.,
- New films
“Season of the Witch”
Director: Dominic Sena.
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman.
The plot: A 14th-century Crusader returns to his homeland, which
has been devastated by the Black Plague. To appease members of the
church, he and his comrade look to transport an accused witch to a
remote abbey, where monks hope that a ritual will end the
Genre: Adventure, drama.
- Film roundup
★★★★ (out of four)
“Black Swan” is Darren Aronofsky’s borderline-experimental attempt
to immerse the viewer in madness and, in effect, replicate the
experience of complete mental collapse. Naturally such a film
requires an intensely psychological approach, but to my surprise,
Aronofsky keeps everything under control in the midst of absolute
chaos, never allowing his wilder impulses to engulf the carefully
structured narrative. This is the work of a master.
“Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part
Warner Bros. has been taking some flack these past few years as
their Harry Potter film series took a nose-dive in terms of
creativity and overall effectiveness, and the harsh criticisms are
not without cause. After Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell each left
the series after just one (successful) installment, the studio
turned to the well-respected British filmmaker to close out the
final three chapters, and the results have been uneven.
Sure, the movies still rake in obscene amounts of cash all over the
globe, but from an artistic standpoint, the consensus seems to be
that Yates took a once-vibrant series and ran it into the ground —
perhaps as a result of his own willingness to let the studio heads
call all the shots. Though marginally entertaining, “Order of the
Phoenix” and “The Half-Blood Prince” both suffered enormously from
flat, truncated screenplays that never allowed any breathing room
for these characters or their story.
Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010 7:06 am
Happy New Year to all, and I hope everyone had a great
Christmas. Mine was a quiet affair, with Heather and me relaxing
with a few bottles of wine and a stack of DVDs, including “Nation
Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Scrooged,” “A Muppet Family
Christmas” and, of course, “Die Hard.” In a word: perfect.
New Year’s will be largely the same, and I’ve got my copies of
“When Harry Met Sally …” and “The Poseidon Adventure” all ready to
go. (And another viewing of “Die Hard” never hurt anyone.) I’ve
also got a few more movies to catch up with before I attempt to
draft a respectable top 10 list for next week, although I fear that
some of the films I was most looking forward to seeing -- “Another
Year” and “Blue Valentine,” most notably — will not be opening
around here in time. But I shall make due.
Arts and Entertainment
Friday, December 31, 2010 7:06 am.