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Monday February 4, 2008


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
As long and dull as its title, it struck us as odd that Brad Pitt distanced himself from this film during its release. The movie seemed to have it all. The story of bank robbing, gunslinging, myth making outlaws set against the expansive and impressively endless sky of the prairies. Ever since Terrence “I’m Overrated” Mallick opened the door to beautifully lensed prairie skies and wistful wheat fields in Days of Heaven, it’s like its every filmmaker’s wet dream to make an equally indulgent and beautifully unemotional story about cowboys. We dare to say it but we enjoyed Michael Ondaatje’s Collected works of Billy the Kid way more. Yeah. We read.

Elizabeth: The Golden Years
May sound hard to believe, but we’ve all been DYING for a sequel to Elizabeth for close to a decade. Lucky for us, we weren’t alone. Her majesty’s legions of fans have been busy setting up on-line petitions and message boards, begging for more. What crazy antics does the Queen get up to next? Does she finally court a suitor? Lose the V-card? Produce an heir? So many unanswered questions! If, like us, you’ve been biting your nails since ’98, waiting for the answer to these questions, and are too lazy to open a fucking book ever, then hooray. Elizabeth is back, and this time it’s personal.

Across the Universe
When this movie was originally in theaters, Georgia Straight film critic Ken Eisner called it “the must-see movie of the year, and maybe of the decade.” We strongly disagree. To put it mildly, Across the Universe is one of the most offensive movies we’ve seen in ages. Here’s a snapshot that will hopefully illustrate why: Bono is in the film, briefly. He plays “Dr. Robert”, an LSD advocating “revolution” talking hippie meant to represent Ken Kesey. He sings “I am the Walrus”. If that combination doesn’t put a silver bullet through the conjoined heart of the ’60s and The Beatles, then what does? Almost every character in the film is a Beatles reference. From Lucy to Jude to Sadie to JoJo to Prudence (who actually makes her entrance through the bathroom window), the gang’s all there. But what purpose does all the McLennon jocking serve? Why did the ’60s need to get the Rent meets Moulin Rouge treatment? With films like Across the Universe the importance of the ’60s and the magic of The Beatles get reduced to a bunch of painful cliches, making both seem even less like they ever actually happened. If the brazen worshiping of this band and this era so fucking hard proceeds like this, only the truest of assholes will ever be able to feel nostalgia for either ever again.

The Brave One
Shame on Neil Jordan and double shame on Jodi Foster. This project is seriously flawed from the get go. A woman survives a brutal attack that leaves her emotionally scarred and her lover dead. Incapable of moving forward she gets a gun and becomes a vigilante. Not that we don’t understand the desire or impulse for revenge or even violent justice, it’s just that it doesn’t work for us to see a film that justifies it… no, even worse, endorses it. This isn’t some exploitation rape revenge thing, this is a big Hollywood hunkajunk and it is as dangerous as it is badly made. At least now we understand why Warner Bros. came out with a press release stating that after the failure of this film at the box office, the studio will no longer be making movies with women in the lead… or movies directed by Irish men.

It’s so much easier to enjoy films that don’t take themselves so seriously… like this one. Plus director Allan Moyle is a riot.