Saturday, March 6, 2010

Some Recent Viewings

The Long Hot Summer (1958)
This film was the first to pair Paul Newman and future wife Joanne Woodward together and the chemistry between the two really stands out. Newman plays Ben Quick, a drifter who disrupts the lives of a rich small-town family. Orson Welles gives a delightfully over-the-top performance as the head of the family who will stop at nothing to ensure his name continues on in importance.

Seven Men from Now (1956)
Randolph Scott stars in this low-budget western that is at once simple and complex. I say simple because the story and style are straightforward enough, but I also say complex because of the ideas explored. Lee Marvin also stars as a charismatic heavy.

A Serious Man (2009)
The latest Coen brothers film delivers like no other film could. After watching it for the first time, I ended up watching it again the very same day. There's certainly a lot to chew on in this dark comedy about a man faced with a series of unfortunate events. It's probably the most personal film the Coens have made.

Trees Lounge (1996)
Character actor Steve Buscemi's directorial debut centers on a man who stands at a crossroads in his life. He turns to alcohol at the local bar to soften the blow of a disappointing life. This film was a engaging slice-of-life type of story, helped along by a cast of great supporting players.

Bloody Sunday (2002)
If you've seen a Paul Greengrass film in the past few years, this one follows the same shooting style. The film portrays the fateful 1972 Irish civil rights protest march and the subsequent massacre that took place. Much like United 93, the film is shot in an essentially documentary style; all handheld and with many unknown or non-actors.

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