Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Dominic West, Vincent Regan
Plot: Based on the graphic novel that depicts the historical Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartans stand their ground against a million Persian invaders.
Brief Thoughts: I was not as impressed by this movie as a lot of people seem to be. The characters are flat, the voice-over annoying, and you can expect at least one completely gratuitous sex scene. Also, though I appreciated some of the religious undertones, one image in particular struck me as the kind of gratuitous thing stuck in there for no other reason except that it's popular to do now (hint: pay attention near the end). The battle, while very cool at times, is really nothing compared to other epics like Lord of the Rings or Braveheart. The ending also is basically just a compilation of scenes and ideas stolen from other films. That said, it's still an entertaining movie. Visually it's extremely artistic and at times looks more like a painting than a piece of cinema. Also: this film is such a celebration of masculinity, and is infused with so much testosterone, that any guy who goes to watch it will want to roar and thump his chest during certain scenes. Plus, the women will enjoy seeing a lot of muscular shirtless guys. Not to mention that the most engaging and developed character in the film (as well as one of the strongest) is a woman. Good movie, but flawed.

REVIEW: Zodiac

Director: David Fincher
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.
Plot: Based on true events, the film follows the investigations into the serial murders that occurred in the '70s by someone who called himself the Zodiac.
Brief Thoughts: This is a good film. However, it's very long, and the middle is somewhat slow. The performances are very strong and Fincher once again shows he's a very competent director. The script is extremely unconventional in that major characters drop out and come back, and there's so much information and so many perspectives being thrown around it can be hard to get into. Also: the ending is extremely un-Hollywoodish. However, the film is better for it. It presents the truth.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

BRIEF THOUGHTS: Black Snake Moan

Director: Craig Brewer
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci
Plot: When an old black farmer finds the town nymphomaniac beaten and left for dead, he heals her wounds, only to chain her up in an attempt to cure her of her wicked ways.
Thoughts: The most controversial film this year is also the most spiritually significant. There's a surprising amount of religious undertones in this film about two broken people whose lives collide in an attempt to find redemption. Though its subject matter may turn away some viewers, Brewer has crafted a raw, honest look at broken people desperately in need of saving. It's no coincidence that the protagonist's name is Lazarus - with the help of his pastor (it's about time we saw religious figures portrayed this positively) and a little white girl, he'll be forced to confront his sins and (one hopes) rise again. Jackson's performance is his best in years, and not even Justin Timberlake can put a damper on what is so far the best film of 2007.