Paragraph Reviews 2/2/11

Music, Movies, Television, etc. Pop culture reviews for the short-attention-span Internet age.

Blue Valentine (2010)

It truly is a crime Gosling was robbed of a Best Actor nomination this year, as he and Michelle Williams both deliver mesmerizing performances.  Blue Valentine all by itself is a powerful film, a realistic portrayal of an unfortunately true-all-the-time tale of a couple filled with circumstance and rejection, a marriage falling apart, and a family just beginning to break.  The romance scenes are particularly intense and shot well, and the getting-to-know-you dialogues between Williams and Gosling sell the movie for me.

Rating: 8

127 Hours (2010)

I frankly thought James Franco’s performance in Howl was superior to this one, but nevertheless he does a great job transforming from a carefree mountain climber to a man fighting alone for survival.  The hallucinations and flashbacks give us some vague background  of the character – after awhile they become surreal and awkward.  The movie is completely from the point of view of our protagonist, who begins to lose it after spending days trapped in a deep cavern tethered to a rock.  The story is great in theory, but how it’s told, albeit unique, doesn’t always work.  Still, Franco’s great performance stands.

Rating: 7

Buried (2010)

Similar to 127 Hours, Buried is a tale of survival told from our main character’s point of view, except this story is fictional and darker and told completely from a buried coffin in the desert in Iraq.  Sounds crazy intense, right?  It is – I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and frankly surprised by the performance from frat boy Ryan Reynolds.  I personally enjoyed this film a bit more than the aforementioned Oscar contender above; the character development is sharper and less abstract.

Rating: 8

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