Archive for October, 2010
A riveting and enlightening look at the United States and the economic melt down of 2008, directed by Charles Ferguson and narrated by Matt Damon, Inside Job lays out where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going financially. Meticulous in its method the film serves as both a warning and a wake up as it exposes the fatal flaws of the system we operate under– specifically pointing out that no matter the political party in control, the same band of financial advisors have been manipulating the economy for decades.
Even more impressive, given that the subject material could make for an incredibly drab and mind numbing lecture on global political economy, the film actually turns out to be broken down into easily digestible segments that inform and entertain and at the same time enrage. Powerful, timely, and worth seeing, Inside Job is rated PG-13.
Proud parents of a baby boy are motivated to install a high tech security system in their house after an apparent break-in leaves their house vandalized. Equipped with cameras recording all events throughout their house and yard the couple, their teen daughter, and live in nanny feel safer– that is until strange events start disrupting the house. Upon review of their security tapes a modest amount of skepticism turns to all out fear as a demonic force begins to up the ante in it’s aggressiveness. Now the question becomes how to stay alive and clear their house, or is it already too late?
Breaking with the conventional type of scares that so many Hollywood horror franchises have built our expectations on, Paranormal Activity 2 goes back to basics to remind us that it’s not what we see that’s always that scary; rather, it’s what we don’t see that can be scariest of all. And, with dramatic improvements on the producers methods to make things go bump in the night the film packs a real extra punch. Acting feels pretty genuine for the most part, and the humor between characters as we’re getting to know the principals also rings true. From a story line perspective this film dovetails nicely into the first Paranormal Activity film adding more depth to what we already know; but, given that it also serves as a pre-quel it also has the advantage that it can stand on it’s own. Best seen in a packed theatre for the full experience, if you’re looking for a good scare this weekend, don’t miss this one. Paranormal Activity 2 is rated R.
Tormented and tired of what feels like a burden, the world’s most effective and sought after spiritual medium, George Lonegan (Matt Damon), has made the decision to call it quits to try and lead a “normal life.” Halfway around the world a French journalist, Marie LeLay (Cecile De France), has a near death experience when a Tsunami strikes a tropical island she’s vacationing on. In roughly the same time frame a young boy named Marcus (George McLaren) loses his twin brother in a tragic accident. All are seeking closure to some degree when they are coincidentally brought together, but all bets are off. Will Marie’s questions about the hereafter be answered? Will Marcus gain closure regarding the loss of his brother; and, will George find peace with his abilities and find someone who accepts him for who he is?
Directed by Clint Eastwood Hereafter takes on a slow burn pace, carefully and artfully laying out the foundation for a film that’s hard to place into one single genre; mainly straight up drama but touched with action, romance, suspense, and the supernatural. This hybrid quality alone may make the film a little difficult for American audiences to palate considering how the film has been marketed more so as a suspense thriller. But fear not, Eastwood’s eye for detail and artistic sensibilities shine through to make for a provocative watch. Meanwhile performances from the ensemble are notable, often crossing from French to English and back without short changing or linguistically cheating either side. From an effects standpoint of view the film is also a success, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the fact that Steven Spielberg is titled as an executive producer on the project. Worth seeing. Hereafter is rated PG-13.