Every year budgets are bigger, profits and tickets are higher, special effects are grander and more people stay at home. Plots are cookie cutter, the faces and costumes change but the stunts and characterizations are all the same. It’s the state of film today. We’ll soon need a new descriptions of the medium other than film or the movies as what we see is increasingly digitally formatted. I find myself becoming less and less amazed, amused or moved by the product that at one time was a considerable art form.
In contrast to what I’ve just said I now I have to say that recently I have seen four movies (for lack of that new description) that have actually renewed my faith in the theatre experience. These were complete surprises and very welcomed. The title of these gems is: “The Black Swan”, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, “True Grit” and “The Green Hornet”. Yes; “The Green Hornet” was good enough to make my cut. These features were all very different and they touched on varying aspects of humanity. They were funny, driven, compelling, intriguing, fanciful and daring. They chronicled many adventures, were gritty, black and one was a even a little “green”. I’ve included individual posters of all and below the poster I have my thoughts on each one. They are four to see.
This is Natalie Portman’s vehicle. She gives a compelling, believable performance that like her character should transform her actual career to another level. This is in a film that is in many ways pure fantasy. Set in the competitive, demanding but beautiful world of ballet it is really a dark psychological thrill ride. Director Darren Aronofsky has taken a certain art-house hit and somehow tapped into the main stream consciousness or possibly sub-conscious to forge a popular hit. The twist and turns are many, the intrigue abounds and you will never truly be sure of what is real and what is imagined.
|The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader|
More than any of the films I’ve featured; “True Grit” is the most satisfying and brilliant. The original film is an American Icon and gave John Wayne his only performance Oscar. By placing their version more firmly into the actual time period the Coen brothers have envisioned a more realistic telling of the original source material. It is a remarkable thing to behold. The principal’s performances of Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges are to perfection and with no trace of modern quirks and mannerisms. The narrative is one of revenge, justice, perseverance and ultimately about the consequences of our life choices. This is a solid film, the result of creative talent at the height of their powers combined with and embellished by the shock of the new.
|The Green Hornet|
|Oscar Night is Feb. 27th|