Friday, December 14, 2012

Current Clever Reviews

From Rich Juwziak's review of Amour
Horror movies make death easy. Lots of people find them hard to watch, of course, but they ultimately make the loss of life a consumable commodity – with the swipe of a machete, the slash of a knife, the plunge of a handful of razors, humans expire. A series of these makes for a fast-moving popcorn picture.
Even the most gratuitous cases are relatively breezy. The pièce de résistance of the bled-dry torture porn genre, the Saw franchise, featured a series of hideously inventive, Rube Goldberg-esque deaths that, per the guiding hand of serial killer Jigsaw, generally took just a minute to carry out (with, say, another minute or so of setup). A great way to take the edge off extremeness is to make it mercifully brief. Mass murders are common in entertainment but not so much in the typical American life – those of us privileged to a peaceful existence can write off an eyeful of carnage with, "It's only a movie."
Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or-winning Amour is not a conventional horror movie, but it is among the most brutal pieces of cinema I have ever experienced. No heads roll, no blood flies, there isn't even a sense of suspense in this French-language film – just an elderly woman who decays before our eyes, while hers slowly drain of life via a performance from Emmanuelle Riva that is among the very best this or any year has offered.
from A.O Scott's review of The Hobbit
In “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s first Middle-earth fantasy novel, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) sets out with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a posse of dwarfs to battle a fearsome dragon. [Spoiler alert] they do not kill the dragon, although [spoiler alert] they eventually will, within the next 18 months or so, because [spoiler alert] this “Hobbit,” which is [migraine alert] 170 minutes, is the first installment in [film critic suicide-watch alert] a trilogy.
Let's try our own with the trailer for Pacific Rim.

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