OK, I went a little hog wild this weekend and saw not one but two movies. Don’t worry, I didn’t take the whole weekend off or anything. I know, I owe you a (choose one): redrafted chapter; draft proposal; short article; new website; check; grade. So, three mini-reviews, two of movies, one of a preview.

A History of Violence

I’ll admit it: I am a bit of a Cronenberg fan. And although I was looking forward to the film, some of the reviews were lukewarm. I found it to be a very good, very entertaining movie. It wouldn’t have been, but for the really outstanding performances from all of the principals. I hate to criticize, but I don’t think some of the peripheral supporting actors were as solid; notably Sam, the local sheriff, played by Peter MacNeill. I’m sure his performance would have been adequate if not for some of the really good stuff from the rest of the cast. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised by this film, and glad I got a chance to see it.

Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang

There is a lot to like in this movie. I like Val Kilmer in most of his movies — yes, I realize he mainly plays himself, but that didn’t hurt Sean Connery any. But at some point, it really seems like it is trying too hard to be clever, and that gets to be annoying. I suspect a better edit could have made this more solid. It is amusing in places, and they do have fun with the genre, but it didn’t really come together for me as a movie. The meta got too meta. (Oh, and while I’m at it “I am as wet as Drew Barrymore at a grunge concert”? Is this an extraordinarily obscure reference to Mad Love or am I just pop-culture illiterate?)

Match Point

No, I am not cool enough to have seen this yet — missed Cannes this year — but did see the preview. It looks like an interesting romantic thriller in London, with lots of stylish cuts and stilted dialog and cool young actors and then the preview is over and it says “A new film by Woody Allen” and everyone in a packed theater collectively says “huuuh?” Anyway, still going to see it, but I note that they are leaving off the “Woody Allen” bit on the television previews, which is probably a good idea. Oh, and how is “well received at Cannes” a selling point? It was a “feature film out of competition,” which means it was shown alongside the Revenge of the Sith and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Is that kind of like an Oscars Attending Actor™?

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