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Monday February 18, 2008


Michael Clayton
If there’s anything you can say about movies in 2007, it’s that there were a huge number of incredible male performances. Michael Clayton has two of them. Both George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson are so on point in this film, and it’s very exciting. Up there with Eastern Promises as one of the best movies of last year that nobody saw, it has the look and feel of a late ’90s Soderbergh film and the plot of the best Grisham novel Grisham never wrote, with just a dash of The Neverending Story thrown in. Our absolute highest recommendation on this film.

American Gangster
There are way too many problems with this movie to give it a positive notice. It’s long, boring, not true, and Denzel is wack in it. Directors need to stop encouraging him to “act” so much, because it really doesn’t look good on him. It seems like every movie he’s been in since Training Day there’s one of those “King Kong ain’t got shit on me!” moments that not only completely ruin his performance, but ruin the entire film. Not to say that a bad performances is all that ruined this movie. For a complete play-by-play, see what we thought when it was in theaters.

Booooooooo. Shit on yourself, Hollywood. Glossing over the war on terror/torture thing with a movie starring Tracy Flick and that gay cowboy asshole guy is so insulting and stupid. It’s apparent through the entire thing that everyone not only thought they’d win Oscars for being in this movie, they also expected to be hailed in the community as human rights crusaders for exposing the inexcusable yet real practice known as “extraordinary rendition”. For the lay person, extraordinary rendition is code for kidnapping people and torturing the shit out of them without telling anyone. America does it lots. Fuck yeah. On a side note, very confused about the whole Reese/Jake love affair that this movie ignited. They aren’t on screen together once in the entire thing. How do you have an on-set romance when you’re never on set together? Weird. They must have bonded over how horribly miscast they both were.

If you were to watch Redacted without knowing a single thing about it, you would probably think it was some USC film student’s waaay over-financed grad project. First you would be confused why the kid didn’t just make an actual documentary, because that might have been really interesting and slightly more authentic. And then you would wonder if he was a 9/11 truther, because that’s basically where the plot is headed. And then you would wonder if he maybe found all the actors through a Craigslist ad, because they’re all fucking horrible. And then someone would tell you it was actually directed by Oliver Stone, and you would say “well, obviously,” because that would explain everything. But then that person would say “just kidding,” and tell you Brian DePalma wrote and directed it, and you’d say “that man hasn’t made a good film in over a decade.”

In the Valley of Elah
We decided not to watch this for a number of good reasons. To begin with, after sitting through Rendition and Redacted we just weren’t in the mood for another movie about the war on terror. Also, the name sucks. In the Valley of Elah is a ridiculously bad name for a movie. No clue what it means, no desire to find out. Add to that the Paul Haggis as writer/director factor, and you’ve got a film that only a senior citizen could have any interest in seeing.