Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines

Derek Cianfrance’s (director of Blue Valentine) latest film, The Place Beyond the Pines, is a tale of two men, and how their personally vices intertwine their families and affect them for years to come. Like Blue Valentine, the story is grounded in a verisimilitude that makes it engaging, from the very first shot of the film which follows Ryan Gosling’s Luke from his trailer, through a carnival, and to his motorcycle, where he and three other bikers proceed to perform their stunts in a confined cage—all in a single shot. There are various strong shots like this throughout the film, thanks to cinematographer Sean Bobbitt.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

I was naturally hesitant to watch this movie, and for self-explanatory reasons. The original film in this series, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra was pretty bad, and nothing from this film’s promotional material made it seem like this was going to be anything better than your run-of-the mill action blockbuster. It didn’t help that the movie was delayed nearly an entire year. This is never a good sign. For all of my reservations though, this movie was better than it should have been. This does not mean that it was good.