10 May 2007

Quick Cuts: Departed, Shallow Grave, Last King, Brother's Keeper

Not seeing a lot of films lately, and remembering fewer. The only video narratives I've actually enjoyed lately are 'The Wire' and, to a lesser extent, 'Heroes', two TV series. 'Heroes' is just kinda fun, but 'The Wire' engages me in the stories of all the MANY different protgagonists and antagonists... actually, hard to decide in my heart which is which, sometimes.

The Departed: Entertaining, but not absorbing... except when Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg , the uncover top cop and second-in-command, grill the two green detectives, one after the other. Real tension and anticipation in that. Yeah... probably Nicholson's fault [over-the-top... always something to catch the eye, but not the heart or mind]... and the plot being so involved that it over-shadowed the morale dilemmas.

Shallow Grave: Vivid characters, engaging plot, real sparkle. Something Bad happens to a prospective roommate, and the sharing roomies find a LOT of money. Hilarity ensues. Hmm. Not light-hearted hilarity, so not a recommended comedy for sensitive souls. But grimly light-hearted irony for more jaded among us.

Last King of Scotland: Interesting subject and theme... not-so-persuasive plot and protagonist for exploring the subject and theme. The 'Special Feature' documentary on Idi Amin was more interesting and affecting, less marred by narrative dissonace [my just-now-made-up term for the oppressive sense that the screenwriter is jamming in events rather than letting them flow from setting, theme, and character].

My Brother's Keeper: Riveting and affecting.

This acclaimed documentary explores the odd world of the four elderly Ward brothers -- illiterate farmers who have lived their entire lives in a dilapidated two-room shack. When William Ward dies in the bed he shared with his brother Delbert, the police become suspicious.
- netflix

The brothers and the community members are as amazing and unfamiliar as Spielberg aliens, and at the same time as real and remarkable as possible. A wonderful journey into the mysterious realm of Other People -- Brothers Under the Skin.

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