Category Archives: Crime

Hard Candy (2005)

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Hard Candy

Hard Candy

Hayley’s a smart, charming teenage girl — but even smart girls make mistakes.

She’s hooking up in a coffee shop with Jeff, a guy she’s met on the Internet. And even though he’s a cute, smooth high-end fashion photographer in his early 30s, Hayley shouldn’t be suggesting that the two of them go back to his house-alone.

Here is where the Word of Mouth Scale gets confusing; this was quite a good movie but, due to the subject matter and graphic presentation, I can’t recommend it to most of my circle. I can’t imagine my mother enjoying it, after all.

This is an interesting concept, fairly well executed. You need to have pretty tight writing and extraordinary performances when the entire story involves two characters on one set. The dialog is crisp and intense and the actors are up to the challenge.

Movies generally require a suspension of disbelief, and this one is no exception. It clings precariously close to the edge for so long, I thought it would make it all the way. Unfortunately, just before the bathroom scene (you’ll know it when you see it) the train jumps clean off the tracks. There were moments after when I thought they were going to manage to regroup and bring the story to a convincing conclusion – no such luck.

I still think it is a really good movie, an original concept, a risky staging……just not great.

And it is very graphic – so

“Disturbing, controversial, but entirely engrossing, Hard Candy is well written with strong lead performances, especially that of newcomer Ellen Page. A movie that stays with the viewer long after leaving the theater.”


Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 68%; Audience 76%

Capote (2005)

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Capote

Capote

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

I must confess at the start of this review that I went into this viewing expecting the best. I think that Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the best actors working right now, and find his performances enjoyable even in less than stellar movies. I also, generally, enjoy Catherine Keener, and I had heard that this movie was a knockout.
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United 93 (2006)

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United 93

United 93

A real time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot.

If you have not yet seen this movie – go.

If you have already seen this movie – go again.

United 93 posterIf you are afraid to see this movie, don’t be. It is very respectfully done, very moving, and very palatable. This is not an action movie interpretation, it isn’t presenting any specific viewpoint, yet you do get a sense of all the things that went wrong and just how complacent we were. Just how complacent we are becoming again, BTW.

This isn’t a good movie for children, not because of the subject matter but because of the pacing. There isn’t a lot of overt violence to scare them and bad language is minimal. The movie, however, is presented more or less in real time and so young viewers, with no idea of what is unfolding, will be squirmy. For teens, it is a good movie to see, though their level of interest will be directly proportional, I imagine, to their knowledge of the events of 9/11.

For those of us who remember that day, the violence will be mostly in your memories – not on the screen. He does show us the towers burning, and we hear about the Pentagon being hit, but the focus is really on what is happening on flight 93 and with the military, ATC and FAA workers trying to deal with the unfolding tragedy. I found myself tearing up at times that I wouldn’t have expected – and not tearing up during the scenes you would expect to elicit the most emotion.

Really, truly – no matter where you stand politically, you should see this film.

When I say to GO see this, that is exactly what I mean – in a theater with a crowd of people. The experience is compelling. I have never been in a theater that was so quiet through an entire movie – not even candy wrappers crinkling. When the film ended and the lights came up, you could see in the faces of the other patrons the fear and the sorrow and the pride and the questions…


Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 91%; Users 89%

Sin City (2005)

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Sin City

Sin City

Fan Boys fantasy come true. For the rest of us….eh. Kinda boring, way cheesy. SG seemed to like it, so maybe it is a guy thing. I’m sure SG Jr will like it, but he’s 13, the perfect comic book graphic novel age. My nephews will probably like it since they are teenagers, male and into comics.

Can’t think of anyone else I would recommend it to, so on the Word of Mouth scale it does poorly


Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 78%; Audience 75%

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