Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: May 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

The John Williams Blog-a-thon

by Tony Dayoub

Matt Zoller Seitz and Ali Arikan are on Day 3 of a wonderful Blog-a-thon dedicated to John Williams, a household name when it comes to composers of film music. It continues through May 30th over at Edward Copeland on Film. I've been on a short sabbatical enjoying time with my parents, in-town to visit with our kids who are out from school until next week, but I wanted to briefly interrupt the vacation to direct fans unfamiliar with his earlier work to two of my favorite themes of his.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seventies Cinema Revival: Walkabout (1971)

by Tony Dayoub

As I tweeted earlier this week (you may follow me on Twitter here, if you wish), Walkabout is very difficult for me to approach critically because of the personal significance it holds for me. This is the first film I remember ever seeing, a strange one to be sure. With its sexual subtext and copious nudity, it is not a film I would expect my parents would have exposed me to before, say, the typical Walt Disney cartoon. Yet, it was a different time, and my parents were liberal for even that era, the mid-seventies. How else could I explain the clear memory of Jenny Agutter's nude swim in an edenic oasis located somewhere in the Australian outback?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blu-ray Review: Invictus (2009)

by Tony Dayoub

Widely dismissed as a sketchy biopic of Nelson Mandela, Clint Eastwood's Invictus is actually a better than average sports film which only uses Mandela's new age of reconciliation in South Africa as a backdrop. Ironically, between its original theatrical release and its home release yesterday (on Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, and for Download) the issues surrounding apartheid and reconciliation have once again come to the fore in that country.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Movie Review: Robin Hood (2010)

by Tony Dayoub

Ridley Scott's Robin Hood opens the Cannes Film Festival today (out of competition, of course). I must admit I went into its screening skeptical that I would find anything to enjoy in yet another visit to Nottingham. My favorite film critic, the estimable Glenn Kenny, often generous with praise for at least some aspect of most movies found little to like in this one (read his review here... I'll wait). That, director Scott and actor Russell Crowe's increasingly poor track record, and the fact the film gives in to the annoying trend to "reboot" a heroic tale à la Casino Royale(2006) and Batman Begins (2005) fed my doubt there would be anything redeemable left to appreciate.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blu-ray Review: M (1931)

by Tony Dayoub

Director Fritz Lang (1890-1976), Germany's expressionist gift to the American film noir, is currently enjoying quite the resurgence. Restorations of Lang's famous Metropolis (1927) and misunderstood Die Nibelungen (1932) recently saw their premiere. And out today on Criterion Blu-ray and DVD is the film many—including the revered director—believe to be his finest work, M. This tense, fascinatingly complex look at a serial child killer is the film the current horror flick A Nightmare on Elm Street could never even hope to be.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lena Horne and Lynn Redgrave

by Tony Dayoub

I'm not as well-versed in the lives and work of these two esteemed actresses as I'd like to be. But each has made an impression on me throughout their careers. So rather than ignore their passing (as I almost did with Ms. Redgrave), I offer you links to others' appraisals of them.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Movie Review: Iron Man 2

by Tony Dayoub

Fulfilling the commercial objectives set by its preceding film, Iron Man 2 makes good on its aim to spearhead an entire Marvel Universe of film franchises. But at what cost? All of the goodwill engendered by its endearingly brash predecessor completely evaporates before this film reaches its denouement. Iron Man 2 doesn't play within any established dramatic constructs in existence. And it betrays the fine character work of its cast by limiting their appearances in order to tease fanboys with the promise of future entries in the tapestry it is intent on weaving.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Movie Review: The Square (2008)

by Tony Dayoub

Director Nash Edgerton is a name to remember. Making his feature film debut with The Square, the Australian stunt man crafts a fine neo-noir with his brother, actor/screenwriter Joel Edgerton (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith).