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  • Hear My Song

    Hear My Song (1991)

    November 21, 2012

    Quirky little British film starring Ned Beatty as a legendary Irish tenor contemplating returning to England after fleeing tax evasion charges decades earlier. Droll and amiable comedy for the most part, despite a jarring and completely gratuitous sex scene early on that seemed to belong to a different movie.

  • Pennies From Heaven

    Pennies From Heaven (1981)

    November 05, 2012

    Bizarre movie...can't believe that I have not seen it until now. Steve Martin doesn't really work in his role...maybe because it is so close to The Jerk and seeing him opposite Bernadette Peters as a darker version of that movie's man-child is just too jarring. I did like the basic theme of sunny depression era songs contrasted with the squalor and vice of reality. Dancing was outstanding...especially Christopher Walken's perverse tap dance strip tease. Well worth watching, but definitely not "warm-hearted", as the Netflix sleeve described it (or "black and white" either).

  • Young Adult

    Young Adult (2011)

    September 13, 2012

    Held off on seeing this because of the terrible trailer, but was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Clever and insightful satire with a lot going on underneath the surface. Well worth seeing.

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin

    We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012)

    June 07, 2012

    Extremely unsettling story of a mother struggling to cope with her sociopathic son. It was more stylized and mannered than I had expected, but once I had adjusted my expectations appropriately it started to work on me. John C Reilly seemed miscast but Tilda Swinton was excellent, and Ezra Miller has to be the creepiest actor I've seen in quite awhile.

  • Lourdes

    Lourdes (2010)

    April 30, 2012

  • Brighton Rock

    Brighton Rock (2011)

    April 03, 2012

    Interesting take on Graham Greene's classic novel noir. This version moves the story from the 1940s to the mid 1960s, placing all the murder, betrayal, suspense, and Catholic guilt in the midst of the Mod/Rocker violence that was depicted so well in the Who's album and film "Quadrophenia". Disconcerting at times (with all those army surplus coats and scooters I kept expecting to hear "Love, Reign O'er Me" in the background), but in the end it works, largely due to good performances all around. Engrossing story and beautiful to look at.

  • Secret Sunshine

    Secret Sunshine (2010)

    February 07, 2012

    Powerful movie about a South Korean woman's struggles with loss and faith. Starts slow, but draws you in. Do-yeon Jeon gives a shattering performance as a woman faced with a tragedy who accepts the condolence of faith, then rebels against the easy answers that she is expected to accept. Sort of like the "Anti-Shack", if you are familiar with that book.

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

    January 20, 2012

    Intelligent, well acted, believable, atmospheric (I would have sworn this movie was actually made in the 70s if i didn't know better). Wow. A little hard to follow at first, but if you pay attention it all starts to fit together after a half hour or so. So nice to see a movie that doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator, that actually asks the audience to put down their cell phones and use their brains. I suppose my enjoying this makes me "way to pretentious for your own good", in the words of one of the reviewers below. It is truly sad to see that intelligence has come to be a liability in our culture.

  • Higher Ground

    Higher Ground (2011)

    January 13, 2012

    Honest look at one women's spiritual journey. Nice to see a movie that deals with faith issues without reverting to cynicism or romanticism. A few times I was worried about where the movie might go...I was afraid we might end up in "Eat, Pray, Vomit" territory...but the story didn't settle into any of the obvious Hollywood clichés. Great performances all around, and a very nice old timey Gospel soundtrack (thank God the church in the movie wasn't into "contemporary worship music")

  • Burn After Reading

    Burn After Reading (2008)

    January 10, 2012

    "So what have we learned here?"

    A very funny black comedy, in its own way just as bleak and unblinking as "No Country for Old Men"; just funnier.

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