Paragraph Reviews 1/18/10

Music, Movies, Television, etc. Pop culture reviews for the short-attention-span Internet age.
Enter the Void (2010)

A POV story all the way through, this fascinating film captures the effect of a life’s end through the eyes of a floating spirit over the drug-infested underground of modern day Tokyo.  Everything is spellbinding; the movie itself feels like a giant chemically-induced trip.  Essentially the slow-moving dialogue, drugged-out sequences, and afterlife transitions cause your brain to turn completely off.  Yet the protagonist’s journey is a compelling one, and the characters are well developed in the 130 minute running time.  A splendid mindfuck.

Rating: 8

The Fighter (2010)

This is probably the only Oscar contender that doesn’t feel like a film at all; it’s a testament to the acting of the cast and the sharp dialogue.  No, the Fighter feels like an accurate documentary, and the pacing heightens the inner-family tension.  The internal and external turmoil of Micky Ward to become a boxing champ is well crafted, and, as usual, the ensemble cast overshadows the straight man schtick of Mark Wahlberg, particularly Christian Bale, who gives the performance of his career as half-brother Dicky Eklund.  My pick for Best Supporting Actor at this year’s Academy Awards for sure.

Rating: 8

The King’s Speech

Speaking of the Oscars, the King’s Speech is another one for the awards season, especially in the category of Best Actor.  Colin Firth quite effectively becomes King George VI, evoking the famous stammer with startling accuracy.  His unique portrayal of the king’s speech-giving struggle and ultimate friendship with therapist Lionel Logue (played charmingly by Geoffrey Rush) is a powerful, fun movie-going experience.  And as a bonus, we see Helena Bonham Carter finally able to break out from a wild Tim Burton female caricature and give us one of her best performances in years.

Rating: 8

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