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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Capsule reviews #3

Time once again for another bunch of short reviews. I considered doing these as a podcast, but since I haven’t written much lately I thought I’d go that route instead. Quite a variety this time: art house, spy, action, drama, period, horror, and more. Something for everyone, I hope. Enjoy!

A Dangerous Method (2011) – A very, very talky film about Freud and Jung. I thought the acting was pretty much impeccable (Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley). I just found the movie itself to be a bit of a slog. I liked David Cronenberg’s last couple of outings (A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises), but this one left me a little cold. It’s just a very non-cinematic subject, as evidenced by several scenes showing the main characters writing snotty letters back and forth to each other (read to us in voice over). Perhaps the original stage play might’ve been more my speed.

Certified Copy (2010) – Quite an unusual film that left me wondering what I’d just seen. I don’t want to say too much about it, but simply put it’s a more philosophical/arty version of Before Sunrise/Before Sunset. Although that’s perhaps a poor comparison, since I loved those movies and only generally liked this one. Like A Dangerous Method, this movie is extremely talky. In fact, the whole thing is basically one long conversation. But the conversation takes some really interesting turns, and I found myself engrossed in it in a way that I wasn’t with Cronenberg’s movie. Juliette Binoche is characteristically excellent, and William Shimell holds his own opposite her in his film debut.

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Some thoughts on The Avengers

There’s been a somewhat shocking lack of anything related to The Avengers here on the site. I mean, it is crushing box office records worldwide. And two years ago I called it my most anticipated upcoming film. So what gives? Well, for one thing, what can be said about it that hasn’t already been said? I mean, there are 255 reviews of this thing on Rotten Tomatoes right now. And most of those were up before I even saw it.

You don’t need me to tell you the movie’s awesome and well worth your time. But it just seems really strange to pass it by without any kind of comment. Maybe when the DVD comes out, I’ll revisit it then.

For now though, I thought people might be interested in a short conversation I had about it with Michael Walls-Kelly (WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND).

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QFA Review: Café de Flore

Are there such things as soul mates? What happens to you when the person you once thought you’d spend your life with is suddenly captivated by someone else? How do you go on? These are just some of the questions posed by director Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y., The Young Victoria) in his dazzling and thought-provoking film Café De Flore.

There’s an intricate underlying structure at work here, as a pair of seemingly unrelated stories slowly begin to intertwine. The first, set in present day Montreal, follows Antoine (Kevin Parent). Antoine has it all: a woman he loves, two daughters, and a successful career as a DJ. The second takes place in Paris in 1969. It focuses on a devoted single mother named Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis) and her mentally handicapped son Laurent (Marin Gerrier).

Vallée cuts between the two stories frequently and suddenly, and sometimes flashes backwards and forwards within them. It’s a disorienting experience at first as we try to figure out exactly how all the pieces might fit together, but over time a clearer picture begins to take shape.

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