Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Movie Stars and Hands in Jars


The above image will START to explain the title of this post, anyway. Point is, I have two new reviews up at Battleship Pretension, and I have been remiss in sharing them. The first is of the amicable, if not exceptional, Moneyball by the might-be-great-someday director Bennett Miller. I found his Capote to be similarly bland, directionally, though he's now two-for-two in bringing out great performances from his leading men. Not a major accomplishment when dealing with Philip Seymour Hoffman (who also co-stars, rather ineffectually, in Moneyball), but Brad Pitt has a surprisingly uneven track record as a leading man. In fact, looking at it now, this is only the second time I thought he's actually given a truly great lead performance*, for reasons detailed in the linked review.

On the other end of the equation, I gushed for many, many words about The Criterion Collection's outstanding release of all of Jean Vigo's films, titled appropriately enough, The Complete Jean Vigo. As I said, my gushing knew no bounds there, so I will keep it necessarily bounded here. Other than to say if you've never seen Vigo's work, life's about to get a little sweeter.

*The first was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and you can just suck on it if that's not good enough for you. Or read my lengthier, more well-worded rational, here. Also, he was not the lead in Fight Club, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Seven, or probably any other movie about which you're ready to say "well, clearly you haven't seen..." though I welcome all attempts to the contrary.

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