Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Style trumps substance in "Drive," "Contagion"


directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks

IN A NUTSHELL: Possibly the most seductively shot film I've seen all year; stylistically, Michael Mann meets Wong Kar-Wai, without quite the depth of either. Warning: considerable brutal violence - not for the faint of heart.

GRADE: pending, but at least a B+, no higher than an A-


directed by Steven Soderbergh
starring a large ensemble including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Jennifer Ehle, Bryan Cranston, John Hawkes, etc.

IN A NUTSHELL: Soderbergh is a prodigiously skilled director, but there's a certain coolness about his work - an almost clinical detachment that can sometimes make his films seem more superficial than they actually are. "Contagion" suffers a little from this tendency, and from the ambitiousness of its scope. At its best it's reminiscent of Soderbergh's "Traffic"; at worst, it has the overworked feel of a Gonzalez Inarritu film (e.g., "Babel"), though (thankfully) with far less histrionics.


Full reviews coming soon

Also saw:


directed by John Madden
starring Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Marton Czokas, Jesper Christensen

IN A NUTSHELL: I think I have a girl crush on Jessica Chastain.



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