Sitting in the departure lounge at Heathrow with an hour and a half before my flight, I figure I might as well get some blogging in … after all, it’s Friday and there are reviews to be encapsulated!
“American Gangster“: Ridley Scott’s best movie in years concentrates on story and performances rather than pompous directorial flourishes. Those who’ve been awaiting a Washington-Crowe rematch ever since the sweetly demented “Virtuosity”, this won’t satisfy — the actors get just a handful of scenes together, and nobody has a giant pixilated head — but everyone else should be happy.
“The Bodybuilder and I“: Fans of navel-gazing personal documentary will probably love Bryan Friedman’s intriguing but incredibly self-absorbed movie about his attempt to understand his estranged father, who has reinvented himself in middle age as a competitive weightlifter.
“The Bubble“: Eytan Fox’ movie about young people in Tel Aviv is a great little slice-of-urban-life, right up until the director decides it needs to be about something. After that, it’s pretty cumbersome.
“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days“: Two friends try to procure an illegal abortion in Soviet Romania. I think it’s time the nation’s Romanian filmmakers rediscovered comedy.
“Lars and the Real Girl“: Loved it at the festival, love it still. Go see it this weekend. Just go.
“Martian Child“: In which John Cusack spends a lot of time talking to a weird little kid about how it’s okay to be a weird little kid, and then changes his mind and yells at him, and then changes his mind again and celebrates the differences that make us all human. It’s “I am Sam” in reverse, but still unbearably patronizing.
“Surviving My Mother“: A mother and her daughter find themselves dealing with all the messy stuff that makes up life — specifically, sex, matricide and text messaging. Maudlin, stilted and batshit insane, this movie is everything that’s wrong with the Quebec film industry.
“The Tracey Fragments“: Hey, remember the quartered frame of Mike Figgis’ “Timecode”? What if someone made a movie that had a third as much story, but six or seven times as many screens? That’d be awesome, right?
Oh, and apparently Jerry Seinfeld has a new movie out or something.