Archive for January, 2010

Youth in Revolt
Michael Cera Goes to the Dark Side

Actor Michael Cera has become the go-to guy in Hollywood for undersexed teen roles. He’s the current generation’s Anthony Michael Hall. He also always seems to be the good guy. While the same can be said of his character in Youth in Revolt, Cera also gets a chance to showcase his nastier side. In a sense, he gets to play both the angel and the devil sitting on his shoulders. The story doesn’t move as quickly as maybe it should to keep the gags rolling, and the setup drags on for a bit too long, but Cera’s Nick Twisp is one of those characters you just can’t help but root for… and that keeps the movie going.

Crazy Heart
Bridges At His Best

In Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges plays an old-school country music star and songwriter. He’s part of the old guard, one of the guys whose songs about women and booze and his old pickup truck are actually taken from his own life and not ripped off a sort of commercialized assembly line. Having not bought into the corporate life and having drunk himself into something of a lifelong stupor, his Bad Blake now tours the cheap bars and bowling alleys of the southwest. The film was written and directed by Scott Cooper and there are some nice little directorial touches, such as a dysfunctional locking chain and the world’s most oddly placed phone booth. It’s a very assured film for a first-timer.

Final Solution
The Final Cut?

As Jesus said, what is harder to believe: that a crippled man may rise and walk, or that his sins may be forgiven? Yes, writer/director Krusen invents a narrative that takes liberties with the “true story”; but as this Special Edition DVD release demonstrates, the story also packages a greater truth in a fashion which, in some respects, downplays the horror of the actual facts. And Wolfaardt’s real-life story—which is more global and less local in scope—is no less powerful for playing out in a less cinematically-digestible fashion. Sadly, the legacy of Final Solution is not entirely well-served by this 2-disc Special Edition—but you can always take your original disc and swap it out for Disc 1!

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