Immerse yourself in madness of ‘Black Swan’
Natalie Portman stars in “Black Swan.”
- ‘Black Swan’
★★★★ (out of four)
2010, Darren Aronofsky, U.S., R
- ‘Rabbit Hole’
2010, John Cameron Mitchell, U.S., PG-13
- New Films
Director: Derek Cianfrance.
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams.
The plot: A look at the idyllic past and troubled present of
working-class couple Dean and Cindy.
Directors: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Stars: Javier Bardem.
The plot: Uxbal is a dour man but a devoted husband and father
who, thanks to his ability to read the minds of the recently
deceased, ekes out a living in Barcelona.
Genre: Drama, romance
- Film Roundup
“I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS”
★★★★ (out of four)
Jim Carrey is a great actor. He never gets his proper due, but
over the course of the past 12 years — starting with “The Truman
Show” and then “Man on the Moon” and “Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind” — he has demonstrated not only keen dramatic skills,
but also a willingness to throw himself into difficult roles with
absolute confidence and commitment. Carrey may have made a name for
himself by dressing in tutus and talking with his butt, but these
periodic forays into strange and dark territory have proven that he
is willing and able to deliver brilliant, completely unique
performances when given the right material. (I know I’ll get flack
for this comparison, but honestly, the only other high-profile
actor I see routinely displaying this level of creatively and
risk-taking in his performances is Daniel Day-Lewis. Yeah, chew on
that for a while. You know it’s true.)
This is exactly what Dwayne Johnson needed. After years of
ignoring his true calling as a badass action star, preferring
instead to parade around in tutus in a bizarre attempt to establish
himself as a “family-friendly” nice-guy talent, the actor once
known as The Rock has finally flung himself full-force into
The bare-bones story of a man out for revenge against the
criminals who murdered his brother, “Faster” delivers some
decidedly nasty thrills and puts Johnson’s larger-than-life image
center stage. It’s a choice role in a good film, but unfortunately,
Johnson is forced to share too much screen time with other, less
compelling characters. The film is solid as it stands, but if
Johnson had the stage to himself, there’s no telling how
bone-crunchingly awesome this thing could have been.
“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: Thursday, December 23, 2010 8:38 am
I’ve been a tad grumpy lately, and for that I apologize. The
crushing disappointment of the fall movie season got to me, but you
know what? It’s Christmas, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let a
few bad movies spoil my sunny disposition. There’s much to
celebrate this week (besides the obvious), starting with the wide
release of Darren Aronofsky’s beautiful and devastating “Black
Also, in limited release, there’s “Rabbit Hole,” a low-profile
domestic drama that may very well be the finest film I’ve seen all
year. Great movies both, and perfect for a relaxing holiday
weekend. “The fracturing of identity in response to psychological
trauma” may not be the ideal Christmas theme, but whata ya gonna
Thursday, December 23, 2010 8:38 am.