'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Review

Cannes 2013: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints Review

Rating: 4/5

There’s something very familiar about David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. The writer-director himself might twitch few ears in recognition, after his most recent work, the largely unheralded duo of Lullaby and St. Nick, but in the bones of his latest, which played as part of Critic’s Week here, is the genetics of familiar art. There is almost certainly a major nod here to Badlands, as well as Thieves Like Us, and more generally speaking, Lowery seems intent on re-exploring the essence of that particular period of outlaw movies.

Saints begins with a shoot-out, involving Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) and Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara,) who are subsequently hauled away. Muldoon is arrested, but the pregnant Guthrie is let go, to live in a comfortable house in a small Texan town called Meridian looked after by the excellent Keith Carradine. We’re not furnished with details of the trigger event, until the narrative progresses significantly, being drip-fed tiny morsels that piece together bit by bit, with the script offering far more focus to the central relationship.

There’s certainly something of Malick in the way Lowery frames his story, which isn’t at all a bad thing, given how well the drenched visuals fit the emotional undercurrent of the film. It’s just a shame that Lowery couldn’t match his aesthetic convictions and maturity with a story-telling maturity, as his story is a little twee and there’s a jarring clash between an obviously serious agenda and sentimentality. As an art film, it still works very well, and both Mara and Affleck have enough to work with to offer strong performances, it’s just that the substance doesn’t quite marry up with the style in places.

The joy of the film is in the interplay between characters – the plot is rounded out by Ben Foster’s local cop – and the ambiguity that masks the nature of some of the key relationships, including a trio of bad guys who appear after a time as things roll inevitably towards another flashpoint, bringing just as inevitable action and tragedy. Lowery has made a Western of sorts, with lots of traditional flags, not all of which are dealt with completely successfully, I might add, but there is certainly pleasure in his poetic convictions.

It’s a shame the film wasn’t grittier – not for the want of obligatory violence, but because films like this haven’t been made since Badlands for a reason, and even the most traditional of genres evolve. But for its substance problems, the style is really a beautiful thing – Lowery is clearly enamoured with the Malick method, and his cinematographer – Bradford Young – offers a delirious and beautiful portrait of his vision.

This is certainly another of those gems hidden away in the sidebars of Cannes that deserves to be cherished by a wider audience – and thanks to the talent associated with the project, and the inevitable high profile, that will be the case.

Source: What Culture

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Review

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Movie Reviews

I have consolidate all “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” movie reviews for you guys:

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a beautiful thriller

Rest assured, Stieg Larsson acolytes. One of the most important questions to be asked in the late Swedish author’s mega-selling mystery The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – the line “Do you want a coffee?” – makes it into David Fincher’s movie….

Source: Philly

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,Twilight, and the Return of Women’s Blockbuster Films

When The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hits movie theaters on December 21st, it will be the second major female-led franchise movie released in just over a month. The first, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I, has already earned over $640 million dollars worldwide since its November 18th release and has become the third-highest grossing movie….

Source: Huffington Post

Review: ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

Blindfolds, gags, tongues, fists — and that’s just the opening credits of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” David Fincher’s adaptation of the massively popular Swedish crime novel and 2009 film. It’s stylish, if not exactly subtle, and….

Source: Newsday

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Given their dominance on international bestseller lists and at the box office over the past few years, you’d think we’d know what The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Millennium trilogy are all about by now….

Source: Montreal Gazette.com

‘Girl With Dragon Tattoo’ review: taut spin

For months people have asked, “Why do we need an English-language remake of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ “? The Swedish version was already an international hit, not to mention a tough act to follow. Why bother?….

Source: SF Gate

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Review

‘Dragon Tattoo’ Reviews: How Did Rooney Mara Do?

Moviegoers won’t be able to take their eyes off the American actress’ Lisbeth Salander, critics rave.

Rooney Mara owns “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

That is to say, while the film shows off David Fincher at his meticulous, moody best and Daniel Craig delivers yet another stellar performance, the beating heart of the picture — or, if you will, the exposed pierced nipple — is Mara as the spiky-haired hacker, Lisbeth Salander.

For all the shortcomings of “Dragon Tattoo”— and there are a bunch, from a pacing that sometimes drags to Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s deeply unsatisfying ending — you walk away unable to shake what you’ve just seen from Mara. Alternately vulnerable and vicious, her Salander is an entirely different creature from the one presented by Noomi Rapace in the Swedish version of the film and, what’s more, an entirely different creature from anything Mara offered in “The Social Network” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Let’s stop right there, before we go from gushing to outright hero worship. At least we’re not alone. With the “Dragon Tattoo” review embargo officially lifted, critics have been celebrating Mara’s performance.

The Transformation
“Rooney Mara’s blazing, uncompromising performance is the film’s center, practically its reason to exist. … Eyebrows bleached blond, hair jet black and scowling constantly, Salander has deliberately modeled herself as the opposite of the feminine ideal, and though Mara digs into her humanity and even sensuality, she never lets down Salander’s guard for the sake of the audience sympathy.” — Katey Rich, Cinema Blend

The Chemistry
“Mara and Craig make an indomitable screen pair, he nominally leading their intense search into decades-old serial killings, she surging ahead, plowing through obstacles with flashes of phenomenal intellect and eruptions of physical fury.” — David Germain, The Associated Press

The Sex Scenes
“[It’s] Mara’s movie for the taking, and she snatches it up in dramatic fashion. … Fincher’s belief in her is borne out in a dominating performance of submerged rage, confidence and defiance. Baring all in the several sex scenes, both coerced and consensual, she goes all the way in a performance that compares favorably to that of Noomi Rapace in the Swedish version and its two sequels. She comes across here as the real deal.” — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

The Awards
“Mara, I feel, gives Salander a sadder and more vulnerable aura and a more emotionally readable quality than what Noomi Rapace delivered in the Swedish trilogy. You might compare the two films down the road and say, ‘Nope, don’t see it…six of one, half-dozen of the other’ but I know what I felt from Mara’s eyes, and there’s a lot going on inside her, I swear. Tremors and feints and glances and looks that say ‘stay away, I don’t want you near….wait, maybe I do.’ There’s enough in this performance, I feel, for Mara to be counted among the year’s Best Actress nominees.” — Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

The Final Word
“You can’t take your eyes off Rooney Mara as the notorious Lisbeth Salander.” — David Denby, The New Yorker

Source: MTV News

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Review

First Review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

You can’t take your eyes off Rooney Mara as the notorious Lisbeth Salander, in the American movie version of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (opening December 21st). Slender, sheathed in black leather, with short ebony hair standing up in a tuft, her fingers poking out of black woollen gloves as they skitter across a laptop keyboard, Mara (who played Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend at the beginning of “The Social Network”) cuts through scene after scene like a swift, dark blade. Salander is a twenty-four-year-old hacker with many piercings, of herself and of others. She’s both antisocial and intensely sexual—vulnerable and often abused but overequipped to take revenge. She lives in an aura of violence. Salander obviously accounts for a big part of the success of Larsson’s crime novels—both men and women are turned on by her—and Mara makes every scene that she appears in jump. She strips off and climbs right onto Daniel Craig, as Mikael Blomkvist, the investigative journalist who takes Salander on as a partner, and whom she makes her lover. Craig looks a little surprised. In this movie, he is modest, quiet, even rather recessive. It’s Mara’s shot at stardom, and he lets her have it. Continue reading First Review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

'The Social Network' Review

‘Social’ No. 1 for 2nd straight weekend

Disney’s “Secretariat” may not prove a hopeless nag, but it certainly wasn’t a quick-starting thoroughbred in its domestic debut as a sturdy rival ended up in the winner’s circle after a lackluster box-office derby.

Sony’s “The Social Network” fell a modest 31% in its second outing to nab the weekend laurels, with a $15.5 million performance yielding $46.1 million in cumulative coin and bolstering hopes of a leggy run by the critically lauded legal drama. Warner Bros.’ romantic comedy “Life as We Know It” — starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel as a couple contrived via involuntary parenthood — adopted an estimated $14.6 million to place second in its opening frame, while “Secretariat” was third with $12.6 million.

Whether that puts the high profile horse-racing drama in the money is another matter.

“Secretariat” was produced for just $32 million, but as a major movie release it also carries hefty marketing expenses. Disney wouldn’t disclose the costs of its campaign, though a studio insider put marketing outlays at $30 million-$35 million, or notably below the Hollywood norm.

In many cases, a movie reaches the break-even point once its U.S. and Canadian box office matches production costs. If it fetches a similar sum abroad, that equates to exhibitors’ split of receipts, while ancillary revenue from home entertainment and TV distribution can be viewed as a means of recouping marketing expenses.

Picture profitability aside, Disney needs a decent theatrical ride with “Secretariat” to salvage corporate pride. So execs now will look to the next couple of weekends to pad the film’s poor opening stake.

The Burbank studio hasn’t had much recent luck at the multiplexes, except for summer’s Pixar-produced “Toy Story 3.” Disney will screen the 3D animated family-fantasy “Tangled” for exhibitors attending the annual ShowEast confab in Orlando on Monday night.

Directed by Randall Wallace (“We Were Soldiers”), “Secretariat” stars Diane Lane as the 1973 Triple Crown winner’s middle-aged owner Penny Chenery. Opening audiences were comprised 65% of couples, while females represented 54% of the PG pic’s support, and 60% of patrons were aged 35 or older.

“The people who have seen it loved it,” Disney distribution boss Chuck Viane said. “So we’re going to hope that it will have legs.”

“Secretariat” lagged its historical comparison in its first frame. Universal’s 2003 racing drama “Seabiscuit” debuted with $20.9 million and grossed $120 million overall domestically.

Rated PG-13 and helmed by Greg Berlanti (“The Broken Hearst Club”), “Life” was produced for an estimated $35 million and was co-financed by Village Roadshow.

Its opening audiences skewed 68% female, with 70% of patrons aged 25 or older.

“We had a nice weekend,” Warners exec vp distribution Jeff Goldstein said.

Two other movies opened wide during the weekend to dismal results.

Rogue Pictures’ Wes Craven-penned and –helmed 3D horror pic “My Soul to Take” took fifth place on the frame, scaring up just $6.9 million despite premium ticket prices in more than 1,900 locations playing the R-rated pic in 3D. Its 3D venues contributed a whopping 86% of opening grosses.

Universal distributed Stateside and Alliance in Canada, attracting audiences comprised 54% of females and 52% of moviegoers aged 25 or older. “Soul” was produced for an estimated $25 million.

Also, Uni’s specialty division Focus Features unspooled “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” — a dramatic comedy rated PG-13 and starring Zach Galifianakis — in a barely wide 742 theaters and grossed $2 million, or a disappointing $2,712 per venue. Support came 54% from females and skewed 52% to patrons under age 25.

Collectively, the pre-Columbus Day weekend’s top 10 movies rang up $77.3 million, or almost 17% less than top performers in a comparable frame last year, Rentrak said. (Though a federal holiday, Columbus Day isn’t considered part of the box-office weekend, which remains a three-day session.)

Among the weekend’s limited bows, Overture unspooled “Stone” — a dramatic thriller starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich — in four New York locations and two in L.A. and grossed $73,000, or a solid $12,167 per site. The R-rated pic represents the last Overture release before its operations are swept up into Relativity branding.

Sony Pictures Classics bowed the Stephen Frears-directed “Tamara Drewe,” an R-rated comedy starring Gemma Arterton, in two locations in New York and two in L.A and grossed $19,282, or an acceptable $4,820 per site.

The always-prolific specialty distributor also debuted financial-crisis documentary “Inside Job” in a pair of New York theaters to gross $42,017, or an auspicious $21,008 per venue.

The Weinstein Co. opened “Nowhere Boy,” a biopic about John Lennon’s boyhood days, with $56,065 from four playdates. That represented a tuneful $14,016 per engagement.

Looking ahead, two pics open wide on Friday – Paramount’s youth-seeking 3D threequel “Jackass 3D” and Summit Entertainment’s adult-targeting action comedy “Red.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

'The Social Network' Recent News Review

The Social Network is About Social Upheaval. Forget Everything Else

There is a wide backlash from new media professionals about The Social Network. Jose Antonio Vargas says that the movie shows how much Hollywood doesn’t understand Silicon Valley. Jeff Jarvis thinks it vilifies nerds and is the new “anti-geek movie.” People who want absolute allegiance to the “truth” of Facebook’s founding are offended by the dramatization of it all, although nobody actually knows the truth.

After seeing the movie last night, I take those criticisms to heart. But I didn’t enjoy the movie for any of those points. IMHO, the movie speaks to this generation’s definition of the new media industry more than anything else.

The Social Network is about social upheaval in the digital age. It’s about the ability of a new media class to deconstruct centuries worth of privilege and access that would’ve won in every other generation but now. Continue reading The Social Network is About Social Upheaval. Forget Everything Else

'The Social Network' Review

Online Critics’ Early Reaction to ‘The Social Network’: Like, Like, LIKE

Sony’s savvy publicity department recently invited a handful of online writers to an early screening of David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” and has now allowed those critics to post early impressions of the studio’s Oscar hopeful, though many reactions read like full-length reviews. Needless to say, TheWrap called this one very early on. Traditional media outlets will have to wait a while longer to post their own reviews, but here’s what the blogosphere has been buzzing about all day …

Eric ‘Quint’ Vespe of Ain’t It Cool News:

“I was blown away… The flick has zero fat on it… All the characters pop… All the dialogue, whether sad, funny or serious, is sharp and most important of all, entertaining… Mark Zuckerberg is the character Jesse Eisenberg was born to play… I have a feeling a lot of geeks will be solidly behind [Andrew Garfield] as Peter Parker after seeing this movie, and I think you’ll get why David Fincher settled on Rooney Mara for his Lisbeth Salander… This flick doesn’t really tell you to root for Zuckerberg or those that claimed he ripped them off. Did he or didn’t he? That’s kinda left up to you… Atticus Ross & Trent Reznor’s score [is] amazing. Jeff Cronenweth’s cinematography is also brilliant… Fincher himself is in top form. I loved this movie and I think it officially kicks off the 2010 Oscar race.”

Drew McWeeny of HitFix:

“”The Social Network” represents the very best of both Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher… Emotionally intense, surprisingly funny and genuinely significant. This is an astounding film about one of the most important seismic shifts in communication in the modern age, and the way innovation and ethics are not often related… I wasn’t expecting to be hit emotionally the way I was… The surprise of the film though? Justin Timberlake. Good god — he is genuinely impressive as Sean Parker… In this film, Fincher is working on a whole different level. His use of digital photography is impressive, and he manages to make even the simplest moments in the film visually arresting… The score by Trent Reznor is spare and effective, and really builds a mood over the course of the film… Every one of Fincher’s collaborators seems to have been working at the top of their game, and the result is entertaining from start to finish.”

Devin Faraci, formerly of CHUD:

“It’s dense and deep and often delightful… It’s a great film not just about the founding of Facebook, not just about living in the modern digital age, but also about the very impetus for creativity. In the end, “The Social Network” is a movie about why we invent things…  David Fincher seems to have found the perfect partner in screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Because [they’re] more interested in the people and their motivations, “The Social Network” remains gripping… It’s bolstered by frankly incredible performances from a young cast.

Eisenberg is phenomenal. The other heavy hitter in the movie, believe it or not, is Justin Timberlake as Napster founder Sean Parker. Garfield is also very strong, and his performance here displays a range and a sympathy that bodes well for the “Spider-Man” reboot… Absorbing and hilarious and smart, “The Social Network” is a very old fashioned movie about a very new world. It’s the most accessible movie Fincher may have ever made… and I’m also excited to see it again… I walked out of it knowing that this was a damn fine film, but I suspect a second viewing may reveal it to be a great film, an “All the President’s Men” for the Farmville generation.”

Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm:

“The Social Network” is Fincher’s best film since “Fight Club,” and it’s also my favorite movie of the year (so far)… After returning home from the screening, I was tempted to read the screenplay — that’s how good it is… Jesse Eisenberg perfectly captures the awkward and impassive qualities of Mark Zuckerberg… Andrew Garfield will win audiences over and Rooney Mara finally shows us why she was cast as the lead in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub of Collider:

“A masterpiece… one of the best films I’ve seen in 2010… Eisenberg’s performance is on another level. He delivers one of the best performances of the year… “The Social Network” proves two things: Justin Timberlake is great at whatever he does, and Andrew Garfield might turn out to be a pretty awesome Peter Parker. Both are better than you might expect… Aaron Sorkin’s script is great, and the opening scene alone is worth the price of admission… I think it’s some of the best work Sorkin has ever done… What’s really exceptional is that it never dumbs down the story… Fincher’s direction is brilliant, amazing, perfect. It proves he’s one of the best in the business… Fincher delivers a captivating film that had me engrossed from beginning to end.”

Erik Davis of Cinematical:

“The film opens with what will go down as one of the great break-up scenes of all time, and from there, Fincher rides Sorkin’s hilariously addictive script like a wild bull at a rodeo. It moves fast like a manic Internet surfer, and it never really lets you catch your breath. It’s a film about connecting, except you won’t really connect with anyone… Deliciously watchable… While the film’s greatest strength is that it moves at a hip, brisk pace, that’s also its greatest weakness… Jesse Eisenberg turns out a terrific performance as Zuckerberg… but we’re never able to connect with him or root for him since, in the end, it’s hard to tell whether Zuckerberg was a hero or a villain… Fincher clicks through story points so fast and aggressively that we never find the time to care about friendships being lost, or dreams being crushed… Both Garfield and Timberlake toss in decent-enough performances…

First-time movie scorer Trent Reznor adds a familiar, dark, moody, metallic score that sometimes works and sometime doesn’t… It’s very difficult to truly connect with — or care much about — its characters… “The Social Network” will define a generation for a generation that couldn’t care less about its generation, but it’s as entertaining as anything you’ll watch all year.”

Austin Lugar of The Film Yap:

“Aaron Sorkin is back, and hiring him as the screenwriter for this adaptation was genius. This is one of the rare examples when the movie is better than the book… This was a blast… Jesse Eisenberg was brilliant as Zuckerberg. I sadly don’t think he will be nominated for the Best Actor Oscar… Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Rooney Mara are all stellar… See this movie. It’s one of my favorites of the year so far.”

'The Social Network' Review

The Social Network Facebook Movie Receives Early Positive Reviews

Early reviews of The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, indicate that the film may live up to its hype.

The Social Network movie discusses the evolution of Facebook and how it grew popular.

The opening scene is said to be one of the most dramatic break-up scenes one can imagine.  The movie then goes on to emphasize the idea of entrepreneurship that has grown to dominate the recent generation.

David Fincher certainly brings a lot of unique humor to the film, much like he has in previous works.  Some of his more notable films include Fight Club and Zodiac.

The central focus of the film revolves around Mark Zuckerberg, a young genius who is not used to failing.  Considering he was offered a job from Microsoft right before college, it is no secret that Mark Zuckerberg was gifted.

Mark Zuckerberg, who is played by Jesse Elsenberg, eventually goes through a heartbreaking separation from his girlfriend.  It is during his depressive state that he comes up with the idea of Facemash, which eventually evolves into Facebook.

The Social Networking debuts on October 1, 2010.  To see The Social Network trailer, visit Fandango.

Source: Execte

'The Social Network' Review

FilmLinc Review: David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’

It was E.M. Forster, of course, who scripted that immortal, oft-abbreviated imperative: “Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.” But had Forster lived to see the advent of something like the Internet, would he have been so quick to admonish the life bestial or monastic? As I write this, I am not nor have I ever been a member of those ubiquitous online communities known as Facebook and Twitter, which have separately and together transformed millions of us into the stars of our own reality shows, complete with “friends” and “followers” tuned into our every banal thought or change of mood, and where human popularity is tabulated in numbers as readily as the weekly box-office returns. In my Luddite way, I harbor a healthy suspicion for any technology whose adopters seem more its slaves than its masters. Above all, I cling foolhardily to the belief that the more time-honored methods of human interaction maintain a slight edge over the electronic ones. Indeed, though we may now live in public, we seem to see rather less of one another.

On the other hand, half a billion people can’t be wrong—or, rather, they can, but good luck convincing them of it. A scant seven years into its existence, Facebook is already an inevitability, a cultural axiom. Among other things, it is said to have played a role in rallying America’s youth for the 2008 election (even if some of those youths were actually the fictitious avatars of middle-aged men and women seeking a little masked-ball escapism, or something more sinister). Nor is its reach limited to these shores: recently, Facebook was banned in Pakistan for supposed trespasses against Islam, which is no small achievement for a website that traces its origins back to an Ivy League social misfit’s drunken act of revenge against a girl who spurned him. Like so many historic achievements in arts, letters, and commerce, Facebook was born of a romantic rejection. Continue reading FilmLinc Review: David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’