Notes Made in Haste

The worst job in the worldIt’s Friday. There’s movies afoot. I’d say something pithy, but today’s a big writing day and I’m already behind, so let’s just get going, shall we?

Cop Out“: Hey, remember the ’80s? Kevin Smith’s first movie as a director for hire certainly hopes that you do, since nostalgia is really all it has going for it. Well, that and Tracy Morgan’s line reading of “It’s not for me, it’s for the table.” My review should be up soon. UPDATE: Finally!

The Crazies“: George A. Romero’s understandably obscure 1973 satire gets a shot of adrenaline in Breck Eisner’s proficient genre update, which improves upon its source in virtually every way. And why isn’t Timothy Olyphant a bigger star? Dude’s awesome!

L’Enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot“: Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea Annonier resurrect Clouzot’s abandoned 1964 psychothriller in this enthralling documentary, which would be worth seeing if it consisted entirely of Romy Schneider B-roll. But it’s so much more.

“Last Train Home”: When you hear the term “migrant worker”, you probably think of the laborers that fuel America’s produce industry. In China, the term means something else — people who leave their villages for work in industrial factories in cities across the country. Lixin Fan’s powerful documentary follows two of them as they head back to visit the children they left behind. Susan gives props.

“The Maid”: Sebastian Silva’s drama about a servant (Catalina Saavedra) desperate to maintain her position in her employers’ household has been rolling through the festival circuit for a while now, but I still haven’t managed to catch up to it. (Stupid conflicting schedules.) Jason and Susan liked it well enough.

The Messenger“: There have been plenty of movies made about the human cost of war, but Oren Moverman’s one is different: It’s a piercing drama about two soldiers tasked with informing families their loved one won’t be coming home. Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton give thoroughly lived-in performances, and Moverman announces himself as a director of considerable skill and intelligence. See this, would you?

The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights“: Jack and Meg rock their way across Canada in this striking concert movie, which feels a little more intimate than the usual musical follow-along. Sure, you’ll be able to pick it up on DVD in a couple of weeks, but wouldn’t you rather see it with a crowd?

2 thoughts on “Notes Made in Haste”

  1. @ Oded — I’ve always used the term to define performances that feel like human beings, rather than movie characters; the actors have spent so much time in the skin of these people that it feels like they still exist when they leave the frame. That sort of thing.

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