Posted on 08/26/12 01:36 PM | Last edited on 08/26/12 01:36 PM
1. The Straight Story (1999) - 5/5
2. A Separation (2011) - 4/5
3. The Sacrifice (1986) -5/5
4. North by Northwest (1959) - 5/5
5. The Day of the Jackal (1973) - 4.5/5
6. Bernie (2011/2012) - 4/5
7. Friends with Kids (2011/2012) - 2/5
Highlights - The Straight Story is not only a sensational, heartfelt drama with a perfect performance by Richard Farnsworth, but it also shows yet another side of director David Lynch's brilliance.
A Separation is a tricky and curious tale and has a strong story to support the project. There is a lot of back and forth and lies that become exposed and re-exposed so in the mix, the effect gets a tad diluted. However, there is no shortchanging the fresh ideas, do see it.
The Sacrifice is yet another grand art piece by one of the all time best directors. Tarkovsky somehow summons suspense and originality without using tricky hooks, just high caliber storytelling. As much as I love and admire his other work, this one is top 3 I believe (pending Nostalghia and The Mirror).
North by Northwest is the Hitchcock thriller I've been looking for. A magnificent mystery and clean pace give life to legitimate classic. Looks like this takes the #2 spot in the short list of the director's line up. Can't wait to see more (next up is Notorious).
The Day of the Jackal is a carefully calculated and patient thriller. It doesn't distract with unnecessary flash but instead takes it's time to really engage and attack our imagination. If you like Zinneman's other work, get ready for another jolt.
Bernie is one hell of a surprise. Jack Black nails the role of his career so if you like the funny guy and even like some of his more "serious" work, you need to take a chance on this one. It's weird, it's dark, it's true. Based on a true story, this one rises to the occasion and won't disappoint.
Common slop - Friends with Kids is just a ridiculous idea and has awful, foul performances that attempt to make it pass for a rom-com. The lead actress did actually write, direct and star in this and there are a few laughs, so there is room for credit here. However, it is as raunchy as anything else you've seen that fits or borders the genre definition. If you can handle it to the end, do treat yourself to one of the all time worst dialog exchanges in a horrid, sell-out finale.