Judge Dredd: Negotiation’s over. Sentence is death.
An almost bafflingly pretty and well crafted film given the source material. The story is simple, and it reaches exactly the conclusion you expect, but its a fun ride, and a very stylish flick.
My Neighbor Totoro
Tatsuo Kusakabe: Trees and people used to be good friends. I saw that tree and decided to buy the house.
A movie that has the capability of being imaginative, cute, and fun when it sets out to be. The real issue, and perhaps this is a cultural difference, is that those moments were too few and far between, and the rest of the plot was far too sparse to hold it together.
The Dead Zone
Greg Stillson: I have had a vision that I am going to be President of the United States someday. And nobody, and I mean nobody is going to stop me!
Crisp photography, a few instances of gruesome violence, a great pro/an-tagonist pairing, and an excellent premise, but the movie moves way too slow and does too little. I suspect that the filmmakers tried too hard to stay true to the King story, and it left the film feeling sluggish and sparse on the most interesting elements of the plot.
Rodrigo: Besides my money? A new life. And a new wife.
The movie features some brutal and really compelling fight scenes paired with a fairly rote espionage/double-cross style plot. The cinematography techniques that worked so well in most of Soderbergh’s films just do not fit this one though, and all of the performances seem purposefully muted and flat for whatever reason, creating a really strange tone.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Steve Gray: Your skin makes me cry.
It’s always a pretty strong sign that you’re watching a mediocre comedy when they’ve exhausted all the decent joke material by midway through act 2, and decide that the audience really just wants to see the emotional plot resolution and redemptive arc. This was clearly a paycheck to most of the talent involved, and it was almost entirely forgettable, but not in any sort of aggressive or obnoxious way.
The Somme: Heroism and Horror in the First World War is a historical account of one of the major battlegrounds of WWI, as written by Martin Gilbert.
A Serious Man
Rabbi Scott: Ha-ha-ha! That’s right, things aren’t so bad. Look at the parking lot, Larry.
Definitely the most enigmatic and open ended of the Coen brother’s films, but will all of the usual technical precision and artistic style that you can count on them for. As strange, meandering, and often confusing story, but extremely compelling and darkly funny, with a fantastic cast.