Saturday, September 29, 2012

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER - apparently rape, death and madness

A depressing teen movie with slight fluctuations of joy and angst perpetuate within this one. I liked it—kinda.

I find myself relating quite a lot to the main protagonist—the Logan Lerman character. He is quite shy and really just fearful of being unliked by anyone that surrounds him. He is smart but does not put on an ostentatious display. He is also quite troubled because of two devastating past tragedies. You feel bad for him and are happy he finally finds some friends that like him and make him feel... infinite? It's a touch corny and is one of those movie epiphanies that seem cathartic and nice for the character but if it were to be translated into real life—it would just be silly. 

The film tries hard at bringing us into a teenage universe of veracity. It does a pretty good job. Although, why do these movies always contain outrageous bullying—have you ever seen anyone walk by another person and just rip a cover off their book and then laugh at them? This kind of thing seems to be a filmic fabrication but maybe I'm wrong—I just find it rather funny. The overall story is decent as well. Just please don't celebrate mediocrity for it's own sake—come to a subjective realization of the truth of your abilities, for better or worse, and make the best of it. We are not all Einsteins and Newtons, Mozarts and so on but we all are cognitively distinct in some fashion and that is cause for celebration. 

Recommended Viewing: Heathers - Clueless - Flirting

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.8   -   The Fan: 7.0
             MetaCritic: 66
 Rotten Tomatoes: 84
                    IMDB: 7.9

WONT BACK DOWN - an agreeable sentiment

Won't Back Down is an inspirational mother daughter story. For every part I liked, I further hated two parts but nevertheless was made to be poignantly engaged. 

Waiting For Superman and The Lottery would be two apt prerequisite contemporary documentaries that would clarify necessary subtext for this film. They both contain the real life difficulties many people have, especially in inner cities, with getting their children into educational heuristic institutions of excellence or even abject mediocre ones. Won't Back Down was inspired by real events of a down on her luck, regular mom who was fed up with the poor education available for her daughter. She decided to appeal to the parents and teachers for change to the system by the radical notion of creating their own school. Viola Davis radiates—Maggie Gyllenhall sexes it up.

The difficulties in opening your own school are enormous. The system is set up to make it difficult for change. The well established union makes this clear. The most interesting aspect of the movie was the questions it poses for long standing unions. Many were established with the good intentions of protecting the workers within them concomitant with certain rights. The problem is that these statutes have become a right of passage to act substandard in your job. Once you have tenure, why try as hard? Your set for life. It's easy to see why these union laws have become readily abused. It's time for massive social change in lot of areas; especially in our capitalistic economics and the plutocratic government. 

Once well thought out and executed ideologies are no longer working as well as they should. We are in much need of a biological and ecological software update as the futurist Ray Kurzweil states. Thomas Jefferson, himself, said that revolution is sometimes needed to keep a government in check. I know I'm making some heavy extrapolations but if you ask me the only change that is likely to occur, with significant long term benefits for humanity, will be the likely need of a massive coup d'état. This will surely cause a valley in Sam Harris' morality scale for some time but if done with the right leadership, will yield untold boon. America is sinking and we had better put on a life vest and slowly die or pull the plug out of the drain with a sword. 

Recommended Viewing: Waiting For Superman - Blackboard Jungle - Dangerous Minds

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.0   -   The Fan: 6.2
             MetaCritic: 47
 Rotten Tomatoes: 33
                    IMDB: 4.9

LOOPER - qed proscribed

Looper, the latest attempt at narrative time travel, was a welcome surprise. The story didn't quite proceed the way I expected from the trailer and that is almost always a good thing. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, stars as the looper, the man who executes people from the future sent through a primitive time machine. He kills those that his crime organization affiliates deem no longer worthy of breath. This organization ties up their loose ends. They send the older loopers themselves back to their younger selves to be killed, thereby guaranteeing a rich but brief 30 year lifespan. Bruce Willis is the older Gordon-Levitt. We can surmise all of this from the trailer. What I didn't expect, however, was the telekinetic mutants. 

TK people, as they are known, have come to find themselves with, a new to the human race, ability to levitate small objects through telekinetic powers. It apparently stems from a genetic mutation probably caused by cosmic rays. (my guess anyway) This ability has become a banality to the masses and just a basic conjurers trick by most standards, except—that is—for one very special boy. This young child of uncanny weirdness turned out to be an excellent casting choice. He was so convincing and disturbing. He befriends the titular looper only to find himself hunted by the older version because in the future he will kill his wife. Scifi action ensues. I don't want to give much else away of the story. 

The futuristic gadgets felt accurate and well placed like the near holographic computers, hover bike and small square cellphones. The time travel actually made sense to me and was not unnecessarily complicated. That is a rarity. There is a very odd sense of humor running in tandem to the characters as well. All in all, a decent film. 

Recommended Viewing: Primer - Safety Not Guaranteed - Back To The Future

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 7.9   -   The Fan: 8.4
             MetaCritic: 87
 Rotten Tomatoes: 93
                    IMDB: 8.5

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

THE MASTER - a mesmerizing caution

What a film. You may be inclined to deride this movie as an attempt to belittle a pseudo religious or pseudo psychological group of ideas, known to many as Scientology. Scientology needs no help to expose it's dubious claims to the slow and steady healing of the mind. Given all the religious problems, the world is now facing, a reality check is in order. You are in for a treat of cinematic subtlety which is beautifully photographed, fantastically acted and altogether bizarre.

Scientology was introduced to the world in the 1950's by the charismatic madman, L. Ron Hubbard—played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie with sublime symmetry. Scientology ideology is really rather simple. You are immortal—your 'spirit' has been around for perhaps trillions of years only now to find itself within your being. Since this is the case you therefore must have many past traumatic experiences that need to be brought to the surface and dealt with so that you may overcome them. Dianetics and auditing are used to help you become your best self—you listen to recordings, talk to 'masters' about your inner most troubles, and are subjected to numerous odd tests to help relieve yourself from past traumas, etc. Scientology is considered a tax free religion in many countries with a few notable exceptions like the UK and Canada. 

The methods used, brought to mind an interesting aspect of psychology. Is it good to be pushed? Thrusting someone to a degree of utter madness to release inner demons is interesting to me. Sometimes the greatness of person has to be tenaciously jeered out of them. The question is, who and when is it ok to do this. Going from window to wall, window to wall may seem harmless enough but in the end will you realize some great truth or will you come to some false epiphany? Hmmmm

I think dianetics, to some degree, is useful. Who wouldn't feel better after talking to someone about their deep issues, especially if they have been left dormant for sometime (I mean within one lifetime of course). It's what we call catharsis! It's much like the placebo effect. It works on a psychological level which further influences the material, the stuff of which you are made. Scientology, therefore, is like homeopathy. It may have considerable demonstrable positive effects with certain patients and that is why you find myriad acolytes, yet truly scientifically ridiculous. I mean to say that these ideas may work to a point but if you were diagnosed with a malignant tumor, are you going to trust a 30cc homeopathic dose of an inanely diluted substance or a prayer/interview session with a 'master' or will you go see a professional doctor with proven methods and medicine, always developing towards greater efficacy? I'm glad the director threw in the empiricist scene to counter the good sounding and even probably well meaning philosophy spewed forth.

Paul Thomas Anderson, known better as P.T. Anderson, is the closest living director I know of—that is nearly the caliber of the inimitable Stanley Kubrick.  Like Kubrick, almost every shot is imbued with msytery and enigmatic intrigue not to mention the incandescent, copacetic cinematography with each actor nuanced in such a way that every minute you are scratching your head trying to figure what the hell is going on. This is pure intelligent filmmaking. My favorite. I don't question every movement or shot, I let it unravel before me so that by the end I am left constructing the pieces and coming to grand conclusions. In spite of this, I don't believe the master to be Anderson's best work and came away a little unsatisfied from a holistic point of view but nevertheless The Master juxtaposes one astonishing scene after the next.

Consider Joaquin Phoenix. With his shirt tucked in too high and his idiosyncratic hand on the hips routine to his facial quirks—we are given a character we cannot look away from and I'll be damned if he doesn't win the best actor oscar. He has disturbing sexual impulses which come about in many uncomfortable scenes. He also possesses serious anger management issues. L. Ron to save the day. I believe that the intention of Hoffman's character is such that if he can save the Phoenix character from self destruction than he can fully trust in his own created methods of cognitive healing. This is why he suffers the company of this man whom is, no doubt, a truly mentally disturbed sociopath. Some of my favorite scenes, likely to become immortal, are the no eye blinking shot of interrogation and the wonderfully funny sequence in which Joaquin tries to photograph a customer all at once realizing he is forever done performing this detestable vocation. The in Jail FU scene was also phenomenal. 

What is this movie about?—Ebert asks. Well I believe it be a caution tale. Many believe scientology to be a cult. But really whats the difference between a cult and a major religion? More followers? Most all religions, which I shall define, tersely, as that in which belief in a supernatural agent has interest in your wellbeing, have a single progenitor. A person that stands out above the rest and with whom great effort wins the hearts and minds of the surrounding mortals. Consider, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammed, Joseph Smith, David Koresh, L. Ron Hubbard etc—the list goes on and on. All of these figures had great stories to tell and great wisdom to impart. This doesn't make any of it actually true, however. All these people had something interesting to make one ponder as did Aristotle, Pascal, Einstein, Feynman, and Sagan et al. The difference is I don't need to deify them to consider their opinions. And most importantly, I can critique and criticize their beliefs with no recourse to sequestrate myself in fear of impending death threats in order to help all humans toward a dialectically revealed truth. *(I realize Buddha is not considered a god by Buddhists and that Koresh had little if any wisdom to impart)

The Master is a warning and reminder that things that sound to good to be true, usually are. Scientology is grabbing at the coattails of the three major monotheisms but in my view is not much different. To my knowledge, L. Ron is not deified within Scientology but his texts and ideologies might as well be because they seem to be imparted from something unknown to the rest of us—thus their content is based on supernatural ways of embracing reality. These ideologies are based on a charismatic man with interesting ideas that caught on with lots of people because it teaches a gross misinterpretation of life. A very egocentric and anthropocentric view at that. Who doesn't want to be told they are very special and unique?

You—and other human beings are not the center of the universe. You—are not any more special than anyone else. This is not pessimism but reality. In four million years humans may no longer look like you and me because we are always evolving and adapting—if we don't blow ourselves up we could cease to be biological as we begin to merge with machines. I know, I now sound like the crazed prophet. I could be wrong about everything but at least my thoughts come from the best human empirical observations, intense thought and hard data—not from ancient scrolls and texts buried in the desert. If you embrace your uniqueness through the grand scope of evolution and the absurd improbability that you are alive at all, this should be enough to inspire great incorporeal happiness within you as well as the realization that you create your own distinct purpose. Embrace death and quit believing that this life is just a momentary stop off to the next one and quit believing in mythological stories of old, rehashed again and agin by new false prophets of modernity like all the new age spiritualism. That is what this movie is about. Maybe.

Recommended Viewing: There Will Be Blood - Hard Eight - Secret Sunshine

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 8.9   -   The Fan: 8.5
             MetaCritic: 85
 Rotten Tomatoes: 86
                    IMDB: 8.1

Monday, September 24, 2012

END OF WATCH - no end in sight

End Of Watch was a solid LA cop film. The handheld shots may bother some but overall, really well done. 

If anyone caught Harsh Times a few years back and liked it—like I did—chances are you will enjoy this current effort by director David Ayer. The cast is well chosen. Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal make a believable cop duo and bring numerous unexpected comic moments to the fore. My theater was in stitches for most of the show. 

We are taken on a journey of horrors throughout LA. The cops are just doing their rounds but these rounds are rife with terrible incidents that would make many cops quiver. It seems real enough and conjures to mind what it might be like for newbie cops in the field. It makes one question the value and risk of doing such a job. What is the reward for risking your life everyday from the hydra of narcotic centered crime? These guys seem to relish in their pursuits with relative abandon. Maybe they believe they will live forever. Whatever the case may be—these cops ensure that the law is enforced with dignity as eloquently spoken by fiat in the first few minutes of the film.

The cinematography will rivet your senses, the brotherhood will warm your heart and the humor will endear you. I think you will like this film. 

Recommended Viewing: Harsh Times - We Own The Night - Tango And Cash

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 7.5   -   The Fan: 8.4
             MetaCritic: 70
 Rotten Tomatoes: 85
                    IMDB: 8.1

FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL... - please don't

A fairly abysmal execution of what could have been a pretty good story is what comes about to entertain us here. 

Two young women are having a rough go of it in the city of all cities, New York. They had a piss poor encounter in high school and never spoke again. They are once again reunited through a mutual friend, Justin Long. They have no choice but to live together to help resolve each others financial and housing conflict. The one girl runs a phone sex hotline and the other decides to help out and grow the business. A little more drama. The End. 

The comic lines are delivered poorly much of the time. The characters are one dimensional  and linear with some sway towards bending. The interesting thing, however, is that even though this was not a very well made movie, I cared about the girls in the end. I didn't hate it but wouldn't recommend it either. The cameos from Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen were the best scenes in the film. Lauren Miller really looked like she was Mimi Rogers daughter—good casting choice. A quirky little NYC phone sex story—no more, no less.

Recommended Viewing: Bananas - Happiness - Flirting With Disaster

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 5.2   -   The Fan: 6.0
             MetaCritic: 55
 Rotten Tomatoes: 57
                    IMDB: 5.6


The curve was cute but a little troubled. I found it to be a sweet little baseball movie with a few familiar faces and a simple story.

Clint Eastwood is a legend in his own lifetime. He's been acting since the mid 50's and came to international acclaim quickly with the three well known Spaghetti Westerns evinced by the man with no name. His recent act with a chair at the GOP convention is a testament to his great acting proclivities despite how you may feel about the action itself. Despite this, his character in the Trouble With The Curve is laden with comic boredom. His grumpy curmudgeon act has been staple for like two decades now. I still like it, but how many times can you make fun of youth and progress especially when your dead wrong. Many people today over the age of 40 are seemingly against certain technological progress. Progress is the right word. Many of today's changes are beneficial for efficiency and health among numerous other things. Just think, being born only a little over 100 years ago guaranteed a life expectancy of only 37! 

Computers are a godsend in my view and although they are downtrodden in the film as incapable of human decision, this will most likely change in the near future. I get it, your older, have always done things a certain way and can see the value in it. The world, however, is accelerating at an exponential pace and thus you will have to make a decision to either remain ignorant and reject technology or embrace it and learn how to use it for your benefit. It's here to stay. So those parents out there that hold off giving a iPhone to their kid until they are 13 like some badge of pride have got it confused. You can have the history of the world's knowledge in your pocket for a meager $200. 

Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams are a good couple and written into the story with well ta due. I want to hate Timberlake as an actor—alas—I can't quite come to make myself. It was a bit weird seeing Shaggy, T-1000 Terminator and Fred Flintstone all in the same room hashing out baseball picks but none the less entertaining. A poignant father daughter story, with a few laughs, a few sighs and a couple a beers will be in store. Enjoy the wretched south. 

Recommended Viewing: 61* - For The Love Of The Game - Field Of Dreams

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.7   -   The Fan: 7.0
             MetaCritic: 58
 Rotten Tomatoes: 52
                    IMDB: 6.9

DREDD - judge not lest you be judged

Dredd is another current scifi flick that you might see advertised and ask why? In the end, there was very little science fiction but ample use of gratuitous violence to satisfy. 

I saw it in 3D against my will—my belief in the abject use of this potential medium was once again reestablished. 3D looks great on expensive home theater systems but generally not in the major auditoriums due to projector bulbs not being turned at full brightness to save money and myriad other reasons. I will, however, admit that the slomo scenes in 3D involving the titular narcotic were seriously stunning. I wished for more. 

Judge Dredd is based on a long running UK comic strip which also inspired the original, with Sylvester Stallone in the lead. This current film follows a completely different story line which, I must say, is rather facile and hackneyed. If anyone caught the great Indonesian film, The Raid, earlier this year, expect a far less cool facsimile. The only interesting futuristic gadget was Dredd's gun, albeit physically impossible in design. This may be a good movie if you're inoculated with an obscene amount of a certain green plant.  

Recommended Viewing: Equilibrium - Judge Dredd - The Raid

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.0   -   The Fan: 6.4
             MetaCritic: 57
 Rotten Tomatoes: 77
                    IMDB: 7.8

Sunday, September 16, 2012

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION - saving the world at a snail's pace

This is Resident Evil 5 or 6 or whatever the hell. I was bored after 2. The second really is the best one anyway. 

The movie starts with some entertaining reverse slomo visuals which happened to be my favorite part but then proceeded downhill with quantum speed. The underground ice complex is kind of interesting but since they explain everything away in the first 20 minutes, you know every next move. It's cool, I guess, that they bring back some of the original cast but who can even remember who or why they mattered. It's like Fast and the Furious. Although, you will remember why Vin Diesel matters. 

The gun battles are irritating and over long. All bad guys get hit with one attempt yet the 'important' baddies remain unscathed. As per usual, some good guys get hit in the arm or even killed but none you care about. It's amusing when evil minions fire point blank through car windows and miss everyone, somehow, over and over again. Why does no one ever get flippin hit in the back of the head when someone shoots out the rear window of vehicles! What conspiracy this is! Resident Evil number five is a decent video game movie. I will admit, that I jumped out of my seat about four effing times because they tricked me damn good. If you don't recall what happened in the last four (and I bet you won't) don't fret because they recap the whole gross epic in the first few minutes. Don't you just love mutant flesh eating zombies?

Recommended Viewing: Resident Evil: Apocalypse - Zombieland - 28 Weeks Later

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 5.2   -   The Fan: 5.5
             MetaCritic: 46
 Rotten Tomatoes: 35
                    IMDB: 6.3

ARBITRAGE - shell out your clams

Arbitrage... sounds like a straight to the DVD bin title. It's advertising and poster did little to entice my rush to the theater either. Despite this we must remember the old proverbial adage about books and covers. Because this, my friends, was a very well made thriller. 

I went to this movie because I noticed Ebert gave it 4 stars. He generally is sparse with that honor so I decided to see it and was glad I did. I look at multiple other publications as well but usually take Ebert's word for it even though I may disagree with him 50% of the time. Critics are important. You read or listen to critics of movies, art and what have you, to help guide your choices, and hopefully, add to the experience with their vast knowledge and exposure to the subject. It doesn't mean they are always 'right', however. It's taxing, you have to weigh your subjective tastes and life experience against your, nearly impossible to obtain, objective viewpoint. Add these together and try to put forth the best rhetorical prose you can to convince a certain demographic to view the piece and pay your respects to what you critique at the same time. You must have a passion for what you criticize. You shouldn't be a critic otherwise. I'm always amazed at how many people 'criticize' the critic for being stupid or just plain wrong but the truth, it seems, is generally reversed. The more knowledge you gain and time you spend with a subject, the more right you have to say anything worthy of ear attention. Who decides when you have acquired enough perspective is anybodies guess—but will probably be apparent to those that know their subject. I digress. 

Anyway, Arbitrage is a financial morality tale in which Richard Gere takes center stage as a troubled millionaire. He cheats on his wife, his 'quickbooks' and really, life in general. You grow to like his character anyway and find yourself rooting for him to pull through like most all antiheroes. It's interesting to me that you find your personal ethics swayed during the course of the movie towards overlooking his obvious and blatant wrongdoing, yet if the film ended happily you would find it internally unacceptable. This is nothing new. The early gangster films of the thirties would never let the gangsters win in the end because they felt it promoted crime with no punishment in return. It also somehow feels morally wrong for bad guys to win. They do in real life though, so it's an interesting intrinsic moral paradox. 

I don't usually include plot synopses in my reviews because I find them boring and unnecessary. I try to give a fresh, sometimes sporadic view on how a film makes me feel—with a few tid bits of info you may not have known prior, hopefully to inspire your desire to view or not to view. Always get a second opinion from someone you don't know and always from someone you trust. I just hope to lead your feet and mind to places and ideas that will hopefully be enriching in some way. I hope you come here to find out what I have to say because you have decided to respect what I think, even if you don't always agree. I would do the same for you. Leave a comment if you don't and we'll hash it out! I digress again. See Arbitrage

Recommended Viewing: Unfaithful - The Hoax - Primal Fear

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 8.0   -   The Fan: 8.4
             MetaCritic: 73
 Rotten Tomatoes: 84
                    IMDB: 7.0

SAMSARA - a trippy excursion

Samsara is a photographic masterpiece. Like Baraka and Chronos that came before it, Samsara mesmerizes with top notch visual acuity and musical orchestration to match.  

Ron Fricke was the cinematographer on the astounding Koyaanisqatsi, directed by the brilliant Godfrey Reggio. These films are all travelogues of a sort, each with a different theme evidenced by the odd Native American titles. Fricke took over the helm to direct his own Baraka two decades ago which was similar in vein to his present work. 

Samsara, the word, has a Buddhist connotation as well as Hindu—both are similar in the concept of reincarnation. The film is edited in such a way that the shots are juxtaposed sometimes quite randomly in order to let the viewer decide on the meaning. The overall message is clear and circular—humans, for better or worse, in myriad ways, have transformed the planet over and over and over. 

If I had any complaints they would be the film felt rather anthropocentric and most of the locations will be somewhat familiar to you if you have ever traveled anywhere.  However, the most intriguing sequences were those that humbled me, like the time lapse shots for example. They remind you that your on a giant orbiting rock through the black expanse of space. I also found the guy that rubbed dirt and clay all over his face to be extremely odd but riveting and indelible even though it felt out of place with the rest of the film. The prison dance was awesome as well as the syncopated marching—it feels like what your watching is impossible. My overall favorite shots ended up being the birds eye view of LA during the wee hours of the night. Just magical. Now all you need are some psychotropics!

Recommended Viewing: Baraka - Koyaanisqatsi - Timescapes

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 7.5   -   The Fan: 8.0
             MetaCritic: 64
 Rotten Tomatoes: 72
                    IMDB: 8.3

Sunday, September 9, 2012

THE WORDS - dear diary in triad

The Words is not receiving any critical acclaim but that has not stopped me from enjoying this quiet gem.

The story consists of a strict triptych of vignettes, each with their own characters and plot lines that, of course, connect in some way. The first chronological narrative takes place in 1930's Paris, the second in contemporary New York and the final sliver, roughly 20 to 30 years further on. 

Bradley Cooper is a decent but struggling writer who receives, as a gift, an old messenger bag that contains a unknown brilliant manuscript inside. Due to life's pressures he decides to publish the work as his own and becomes rather famous. The original author finds him out and thus literary drama ensues. 

This is a story of passion and loss. It was not an enthralling tale but a solid late night movie with a loved one and a glass of Pinot. 

I also viewed the bizarre monstrosity, Branded, which had potential but became a banal message movie about the evils of advertising. Wacky and bad filmmaking sometimes revivify interest in the absurd but not this little pos. Why the hell was Max von Sydow in this?

Recommended Viewing: Quills - Misery - Through A Glass Darkly

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 7.0   -   The Fan: 7.7
             MetaCritic: 39
 Rotten Tomatoes: 16
                    IMDB: 6.8

Sunday, September 2, 2012

COSMOPOLIS - a nightmare drive through consciousness

David Cronenberg's latest moving art piece was nothing short of intriguing if not entirely baffling. Did I like it, yes, will you....

I would be adverse to pinning this movie down to any sort of genre or stereotype but to quickly sum it up I would say it's a grievous, cynical, social satire inspired by the contemporary titular novel penned by Don DeLillo. Each scene comes to us in a series of nearly strict vignettes. It's a film of many tales, some of them important, some of them not, I suspect. Cronenberg bounces around from pseudo, atypical contemporary marriage woes to farcical economic depictions to the deep metaphysical nature of life and death. Yet, most of the dialogue is absurdly cryptic and thus you will have to dig very deep to find the subtext; not for all the scenes but many. Wtf will be an apt response that enters your mind often enough.

If you took a few of the sequences out of the film and told me that a college film student shot some of the scenes, I would believe you. Some of them almost seem poorly acted... but this is Cronenberg and typical of his style. Not for everyone. I find his films bizarre, violent and completely unique in the filmic landscape. Cosmopolis is no different. The cinematography is, as always, stunningly sublime and the last sequence is a particularly fitting example of this. You will witness an eye gouging, giant rats on the streets of a dystopian New York, wacky mystic diviners, in your face nudity and intensely long interior limousine shots. In a word - disturbing.   

Recommended Viewing: Videodrome - Crash - A History Of Violence

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 7.5   -   The Fan: 7.5
             MetaCritic: 59
 Rotten Tomatoes: 64
                    IMDB: 6.1

LAWLESS - a mythical truth

Lawless was a first-rate movie, better than expected. The cast was pitch perfect and the relative slow pace was well suited to this provincial prohibition drama.

The look and feel of the film was done with meticulous attention to detail of the period with few, if any, unnecessary embellishments. It felt as if I was transported to "the real" 1930's American hinterland. The cars, guns, clothing, primitive housing and even the homemade moonshine were well chosen and summoned a similar ineffable period piece to mind, Days of Heaven.

The actors involved are a mixture of the new, up and coming and well established. A well chosen panoply of talent that worked well together despite some of the usual annoying ticks, especially from Guy Pierce who generally overplays the greasy bad guy.

If you choose to view it in the theater you will also be graced with a trailer of the upcoming film, The Master, which is most likely to be one of the best films of the year.

Recommended Viewing: Once Upon A Time In America - Last Man Standing - The Untouchables

              Bob Scale: The Critic: 7.8   -   The Fan: 8.2
             MetaCritic: 58
 Rotten Tomatoes: 65
                    IMDB: 7.8