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March 2, 2007


This week's new movies

Mark Ruffalo in Zodiac

Some great-looking movies coming out today. Here's what the critics have to say.

First up is Zodiac [official site], the first David Fincher-directed movie since Panic Room. Even though this movie is over two and a half hours long, and Fincher is completely up his own ass about it and his inability to cut anything without sacrificing his artistic vision, and Jake Gyllenhaal is talking about how working on his movie helped him develop "respect for my craft", it's still going to be amazing. Why? I'll tell you why. The always Ruffalicious MARK RUFFALO, that's why. Nobody can play a sort of sleazeball detective like that guy can (as he did in the otherwise not great In the Cut). Check out the shoulder-holster-cigarette-sideburns action above. Rawrr!

Manohla Dargis at the Times loved it:

Psychology isn’t Mr. Fincher’s bag; he isn’t interested in what lies and writhes beneath, but what is right there: the visible evidence. And what beautiful evidence it is. His polished technique can leave you slack-jawed, as can his scrupulous attention to detail: the peeling walls of a derelict building in Fight Club, the rows of ant-size letters marching across the pages of a composition notebook in Seven, the bruises splashed across a woman’s arm in Zodiac. There is mystery in this minutiae, not just virtuosity, and maybe, to judge from reports of his painstaking process, a touch of madness.

Stephen Hunter at the Washington Post, not so much. Too talky:

Way, way too much of the film is guys sitting in a room talking about it over and over and over, waiting for a climax that never comes. The movie makes clear the agonizing reality that a manhunt is 99.9 percent talking and record-checking.

Next is Blake Snake Moan [official site]. Or, as A.O. Scott calls it in his review, Chaining Miss Daisy to the Radiator in Her Underwear. He doesn't love the movie, but is crazy about the soundtrack:

For all its willful, shaking-and-shouting intensity, Black Snake Moan never lives up to its soundtrack, which is as saturated with the blues as Hustle & Flow was with the crunk sounds of Southern hip-hop. The songs from the Fat Possum Records catalog that play under much of the action, and two short archival clips of the great Son House explicating the place of sexual jealousy in his music, contain more pain, humor and wisdom than the entirety of Mr. Brewer’s overloaded, overheated script.

And Roger Ebert says:

It may be the most peculiar recent movie ever except for Road House, but then what can you say about Road House? Such movies defy all categories.

Yes, that Road House. I have no idea what he's talking about here, but when Roger Ebert says "you have never seen a movie like this before" and then evokes Road House, it's like I have been personally dared to just try to resist seeing this movie.

While Wild Hogs is not the greatest movie to be released today, and I can hardly believe it was screened for critics at all, the hilarious A.O. Scott review is reason enough to be thankful that this movie got made. After describing how emphatically the movie makes sure we all realize that the four mid-life crisis guys on their bike trip are definitely not gay, he writes:

After camping out one night, for example, they have a conversation that’s overheard by a highway patrolman (John C. McGinley) who decides, based on his misunderstanding of the perfectly innocent things they’re saying, that they must be gay. But the thing is — get this — he’s the one who’s gay! You think he’s a stereotypical homophobe, but he turns out to be a homophobic stereotype. It’s magic!

[tx Trashrock]

categories: Movies
posted by amy at 3:03 PM | #

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