Monthly Archives: June 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin – Review

Since Columbine, Hollywood has avoided stories that have to do with school shootings.  Discussing the issues surrounding these events seems to have become taboo.  Even this year’s acclaimed documentary, Bully, couldn’t escape controversy as the MPAA slapped it with an R-rating, much to the dismay of parents, teachers and psychologists who argued it was a film that NEEDED to be seen by kids.  We Need To Talk About Kevin is an unflinching film that seeks to get to the root of one possible factor behind deadly outbursts from teens:  broken bonds of motherhood.

To say that Tilda Swinton gives a masterful performance would be an understatement.  She embodies grief, regret, and sadness in nearly every expression, word, and body movement you see on screen.  How this performance was overlooked by the Academy Awards this year is remarkable.  Playing her character in non-linear scenes that take place both before and after the killings, she must merge back and forth from a struggling, emotionally detached mother, to a societal pariah after other parents in the neighborhood blame her for everything her son has done.

Ezra Miller, who plays the teenage title character, is also a revelation.  The first time I saw this kid in a film, Another Happy Day, there were hints that he had some serious acting chops.  But this role could define him in the same way Leonardo DiCaprio’s turn in Basketball Diaries became his coming out party as a serious actor.  In an interview on the Blu Ray special features, director Lynne Ramsey says that the moment she saw Miller in auditions, she knew he WAS Kevin.

While the subject matter is pretty heavy, this movies is really worth a watch.  It’s the kind of film that inspires discussions long after it finishes.  It’s easily one of my top 10 favorites of the year.  Highly recommended.

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June 26th New Releases

Hard to review a movie like the Artist.  It’s a modern silent film…..there, if you’re still reading, you’ll probably enjoy it, simply because you’re interested in stylistically inventive films.  I will say that it captures the era in fantastic ways, and that, as a metaphor, the story makes a powerful commentary on changes in the way we take in modern entertainment.  It’s hard not to see the protagonist as a man who “rages against the dying of the light” , so to speak, and the parallels with our own society, in which media has become a flavor of the month, are tangible.

Wrath of the Titans.  I know, it bastardizes Greek Mythology to no end.  It’s a vehicle for showing off special effects like 3-D.  I should hate it.  But I don’t.  In fact, I quite enjoyed this tasty little bit of popcorn fantasy.  It’s loud, gaudy, and topped with cheeze.  I savored every bite.

Gone was a disappointment.  The first 3/4 of the movie was pretty engaging, but then it kind of lost steam, and fizzled out a bit at the end.  Genre fans should enjoy it, but I can see why it didn’t take off with a wide audience.

A Thousand Words is pretty standard Eddie Murphy.  A lot of dialogue that seems to be speeded up, and his trademark Cheshire grin flashing at a thousand watts.  Fans will enjoy it, and older kids too.  I’m starting to wish he would swear more.  I miss the Delirious-era Eddie.

June 19th New Releases

Sorry these weren’t posted last week…big move has us in a mess.

Wanderlust – funny movie.  Kind of a goofy premise, but somehow it works.  Paul Rudd is hiliarious.  Watch for the scene where he’s looking in the mirror, working him self up to some dirty sex talk.  Great stuff.

Big Miracle was pretty much what you’d expect from the trailers.  Feel good family movie with an environmental message.  As usual, Hollywood kind of lays on the syrup a bit too heavy, but kudos for the effort.  It’s still a good pick for the whole clan.

Project X had some pretty shocking footage of teens in party mode.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was almost too gratuitous.  Overkill at times.  I can really do without seeing people pee on a guy’s head while he’s vomiting.  Fans of Jackass will love it, as will a lot of people in the under-25 demographic.

Jeff Who Lives at Home was a great indie sleeper.  Same kind of dry humor you’d find in The Office, but with a bit darker edge.  This was an awesome sleeper pick.  Came out of nowhere, but has some fantastic comedy.  One of the few American made comedies that actually gets the definition of wit.  My pick of the week.

Our big move is coming soon!

Our video store only has 5 more days left in the old location.  After this coming long weekend, July 3rd, Back Lot Video will be down at 28 York street.  Hard to say goodbye to such a familiar spot, but we’ve started to get some shelving up in the new spot, and it looks great.  Love this new spot.  Can’t wait to get settled again.

The media says video stores are dying.  My customers say otherwise.  Thanks to everyone for the kind words of encouragement, and letting us know you still want us to keep on truckin’.  This town has a fantastic collection of movie fans and you’ve been supporting us even as the big box giants fell in droves.

We’ve got a new catalogue system that’s much more streamlined, and it’s been working even better than I had hoped.  Despite a smaller location, we may actually be able to offer even more selections.  As the summer rolls along, look for us to be offering more copies of new releases, a wider selection of indie and foreign films, and maybe even a few surprises!

Hopefully I can get some pics up at some point, for those of you who aren’t in Sackville.

Chris

June 12th New Releases

May 5th New Releases