Saturday, March 14, 2009

Review wrap-up: The Wrestler, Watchmen, Let the Right One In, Coraline

It was a rough week, so posts suffered from a slight case on "didn't happen." Not sure how I got out to so many movies as of late, but here's what I thought of the most recent batch. Long story short: Go watch all of them.

Coraline- From the director of Nightmare Before Christmas comes this latest treat for the eyes. It's getting to the point where I question what can't be done with stop-animation. The details and fluidity of movement in Coraline are something to behold and, on top of all that, every scene is overflowing with beautiful things to stare at. The story is great and the characters are fun. Coraline is a delightful fairytale with tons of heart.

Watchmen- Watchmen is, without a doubt, exactly what I was hoping for. It wasn't the be all, end all epic homage the "die hard fans" were hoping for, nor was it the steaming pile of crap they feared it might be. While several scenes drag on too long and the amount of blue wang on the screen felt suspiciously like director Snyder was having a laugh, this two hour epic does a good job of staying true to the source material while still wowing with the razzle dazzle of modern movie magic. Also, Nite Owl and Rorschach were absolutely tops. *constructs a flame shield* As a side note, I actually prefer the movie's ending to the book's. It felt less out of place.

Let the Right One In- What would you get if Twilight was A) Good, B) about 12-year-olds, C) actually romantic and D) set in Sweden? The answer is Let the Right One In. This is not just one of my favorite movies in recent memory, it is quite literally (as is stated in a pull-quote on the box) the best vampire movie ever. It's a truly bizarre feeling when you find a scene to be amazingly romantic despite the fact the characters are basically kids splattered with blood following a particularly violent kill scene. But that just goes to show how expert writing and storytelling can pull true emotions out of an audience even in the most unlikely of circumstances. From the breathtaking cinematography and fantastic sound mixing to the beautiful story and memorable performances, I can't recommend LTROI highly enough.

The Wrestler- Who would have thought Mickey Rourke would someday return to, not only act again, but absolutely wow viewers with a breathtaking, gut-wrenching performance full of emotion and grit? Expect two hours of dynamite from our leading man and his love interest Cassidy, played by Marisa Tomei. The Wrestler is about a down-on-his-luck has-been desperately trying to find a place in a world with no true place for him, and you cheer and cringe for the guy every step of the way. Writer Rober Siegel worked in some surprising symbolism and parallels between the main characters and, oddly enough, Jesus Christ, and the result is a muli-layered classic that tugs on the ole heartstrings. Endearing, uplifting, crushing, great.


peskypepper said...

Wow, the way you write about LTROI makes me actually want to watch it. You've queued it up for me!
*goes to 'Flix queue and replaces 'Briscoe County Jr' with LTROI*

-Ryan Winslett said...

Don't forget about Wrist Cutters!!! And yes, LTROI is great. I don't want to talk it up TOO much, but I watched it last Tuesday and have been itching to watch it again ever since. Turn off the lights, no talkie-talkie, and let it wow you.