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Old January 19 2010, 01:00 AM   #119
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Sherlock Holmes [B-]
Men in Black [A]
Up in the Air [A]
Star Trek: The Motion Picture [D+]
I'm Not There [A]
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) [D-]
American Violet
Inglourious Basterds [A]
Death at a Funeral [B ]
A Serious Man [A]
The Hurt Locker [A-]
Mad Max 2 (AKA The Road Warrior) [C]
The Book of Eli [C-]
Elegy [B+]

The Hurt Locker: I named this to my top ten (at current, I only have chosen nine, but sue me) of the year, and while I still stand by that, there's a passage near the end that bothered me when I first saw it and continues to bother me. James leaves the base at night to try and find out what happened to Beckham. At the end of this sequence, he ends up alone, on the streets of Baghdad. There's a moment of (probably justified) paranoia, since he's so unprotected and far from the base, but the film elects to ignore this after only a few moments with a cut that puts James right outside the base. Then, James manages to get back on the base without any disciplinary consequences. It's the only part of the film that rings false to me.

The Road Warrior: I never cared for the first film in the series, but I've always heard that the second one is a classic. After finally seeing it, I can't agree with that assessment. This film has exactly three things going for it. (1) After a clunky, but needed prologue, it drops us right into the action. (2) The chase at the end, which is about the only time the film delivers on the promise of action. (3) The slow-motion shot of Max (the image that is on many a cover of this movie) seen once in the beginning and once at the end. It's fucking iconic, mythic, and if I had just seen that image, I'd want to see the entire film. Alas, most of it is spent in quiet with these thinly-developed characters who mostly die, needlessly (except when the film prefers they live, in which case a miraculous [read: impossible] survival is made by them).

The Book of Eli: This film has a profound silliness about it that even The Road Warrior doesn't possess. The cast is watchable, but the action is silly, especially due to the silly twist at the end of the movie. I'm not going to dwell on it, though. The movie is neither good enough, nor bad enough, to be worth the time.

Elegy: I rather enjoyed this film, scripted by Nicholas Meyer (who provides another enjoyable commentary on the DVD). The performances are quite good, and the cinematography interesting.
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