Konsum: Eye Contact

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We’ll be voting for the annual New York Film Critics Online awards tomorrow, and below is a round-up of all the last-minute watching and re-watching we crammed in. Instead of fabricating any more blurbs, is it ok if I just slap some star ratings on the titles and grab a few telling screen shots? Oh, good.

My best-of list for 2007 is almost done, too, but I’m waiting to see There Will Be Blood one more time before posting it.

People who, like me, have seen too much:






Eastern Promises

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I’m behind the curve on David Cronenberg’s Russian mobster tale of sin and redemption, so I’ll make this short. At any rate, I can’t discuss the narrative slights-of-hand I admired most without spoiling the film — so let’s just say that the acting by Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, and Armin Mueller-Stahl is top notch, the violence and spilled bodily fluids are uniquely Cronenbergian, and the script is a wonder of tightly wound efficiency. You can tattoo that on your kneecaps.

Eastern Promises. David Cronenberg, 2007. ****

The Lord of the Rings



After over a year of exile from Middle-Earth, the itch was getting too strong to resist. Much too much has been said about these movies already, so here are just three thoughts: (1) If you’re going to do a marathon, I strongly recommend the theatrical versions over the extended edition. You want the epic span of the story, but you don’t want all the buttnumbing footnote scenes. Sorry, purists. (2) In retrospect, The Two Towers is the weakest of the series. Gollum is terrific and the film’s climax offers good payoff, but the subplots about Faramir, Rohan, and Treebeard just aren’t nearly as interesting as the major storylines in the other two movies. (3) Return of the King has such a wealth of incredible visuals and is pitched at such an intense level of drama that it’s bound to remain a milestone for a long time to come. It also makes King Kong seem especially pointless–everything that movie was supposed to do, Return of the King had already done much better. As epic genre film, as ensemble melodrama, as special effects extravaganza, and as literary adaptation, The Lord of the Rings still reigns supreme.

The Fellowship of the Ring. Peter Jackson, 2001. *****
The Two Towers. Peter Jackson, 2002. *****
The Return of the King. Peter Jackson, 2003. *****

[tags]the lord of the rings, fantasy, hobbits, peter jackson, viggo mortensen, sean astin, elijah wood, cate blanchett, orlando bloom, ian mckellen, tolkien, adaptation, trilogy, marathon, film, 5 stars[/tags]