Zero Dark Thirty’s muddy waters

ZeroDarkThirty__posterAnd I’m not just talking about the debate surrounding the film’s perceived pro-torture stance. Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s follow up to the stellar Hurt Locker, is a film with an obscure center, one that suffers from an unfocused point of view. I’m a huge fan of The Hurt Locker, and was very interested in Bigelow and writer Mark Boal’s next project, which got a lot of attention and heat when what was then a movie about the fruitless task of hunting down Osama bin Laden suddenly became a movie about the successful mission to kill him after May 2011. There’s a lot going on with this movie other than its movie-ness—specifically about the access the CIA granted Bigelow and Boal and how that might have affected the film’s “positive” portrayal of torture as an interrogation tactic—but first we’ve got to talk about the movie itself. Continue reading “Zero Dark Thirty’s muddy waters”

The Academy just shat in Ben Affleck’s bed

<> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.If you need a reminder at just how far Ben Affleck fell down the Hollywood ladder, look no further than his exclusion from the Best Director category at the Oscars. Sure, he’s on the Best Picture list as a producer, alongside George Clooney, but his solo effort was ignored in favor of a first-time director (Benh Zeitlin) whose movie I liked a great deal less than Argo. It’s gotta sting, Ben, but don’t worry. Your day will come. Just not yet. You’re not done paying for Bennifer or Reindeer Games yet (and you still owe me $10 for sitting through that shit pile). Continue reading “The Academy just shat in Ben Affleck’s bed”

Winter Movie Preview: December

Did I forget to do this for November? Yes! Do I care? No! Will I ever remember to do these on time? Maybe!

On to the movies of December, a month crowded by hopeful holiday hits and last-minute Oscar bait.

December 7

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding

Done up in the style of a 1930’s comedy of manners, Weather is not getting the best reviews. That’s an incredibly hard style of film to mimic—we’re entirely too cynical as an audience these days—though by all accounts the period details are outstanding. Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) stars as Dolly, a bride holed up upstairs on her wedding day, battling a case of cold feet. Downstairs are her groom, Owen (James Norton, An Education), her ex, Joseph (Luke Treadaway, Attack the Block), and her mother, Countess Cora herself (Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern), who is determined to see the wedding is not derailed. Though I’m a big fan of Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Pirates of the Caribbean), this doesn’t hold much interest for me.

Recommend instead: Death at a Funeral (the proper English version).


Continue reading “Winter Movie Preview: December”