Young Adam / Nine Songs

I keep watching movies I find interesting then not writing about them. Then I forget the specific things I liked about them in the first place. These two films are hardly similar, but they do treat sex and nudity in a frank way, and I enjoyed both of them, though I’d hardly call either of them great.

M. Winterbottom cranks out the films. He’s directed five since the very enjoyable 24 Hour Party People , but this one had sex – AND bands, so it got my attention. Continue reading Young Adam / Nine Songs

Winter Short Takes

North Country: The climatic scene is shite (something tells me the class action suit didn’t go down quite so dramatically) and the melodrama is ramped up to eleven (indeed, the litany of horrors on display is overwhelming), but director Nikki Caro gets good performances from her cast and her film evokes a sense of place very well. Her commitment to the material made me want to see it through to the end, but Norma Rae is far, far superior. The film also deserves the Million Dollar Baby Award for best performance by an inanimate object (and to think said object has been nominated for an Academy Award!). Continue reading Winter Short Takes

four brothers

i watched this a couple of nights ago. i suppose it is entertaining enough, despite some casual racism and misogyny (which coincide in the characterization of a latina character) and a plot that increasingly strains credulity. marky mark is a compelling presence, andre 3000 holds his own, terence howard is fine, and chiwetel ejiofor hides his accent well–once again, why do brits do so much better at american accents than yanks do at brit ones?

more interesting would be a discussion of the film’s racial politics vis a vis the career of its director, john singleton. i’m not feeling up to it now but this is roughly the film’s plot: a saintly, old white woman who apparently lives in the ‘hood in detroit is gunned down; her four adopted sons, 2 white, 2 black, go about figuring out why and getting revenge. the bad guys are almost all black, from gangbangers to organized gangsters to corrupt politicians (there is one corrupt white cop as well) . interestingly, there’s some class issues thrown in as well but in a half-baked kind of way. the pleasures here are mostly those of very macho banter among the four brothers, marky mark’s believable inhabitation of his character, and some great shoot ’em up scenes.