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  • March 2023
    M T W T F S S

The Wrestler


Darren Aronofsky’s films (Pi, Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain) have thus far left people divided in their love for him. He makes those love ’em or hate ’em kind of movies. I have a feeling that Aronofsky’s newest, The Wrestler, might change all of that. It’s not nearly as wacky, confusing, or headache inducing as his others and has a touching story that a lot of people can probably connect with.

The Wrestler stars Mickey Rourke as Randy “The Ram” Robinson, an aging wrestler who is coming to terms with the reality of his life. He’s getting too old to wrestle, his family is gone, and he has no real friends. The closest friends he has are his much younger co-wrestlers, his pre-teen neighbors, and a stripper he maybe-kinda-sorta has a thing for (played by Marisa Tomei), none of whom he’s actually very close with.

Aronofsky has a running theme in his movies where he tries to make the audience feel as depressed and defeated as possible. He hasn’t made anything that would be considered a “feel good film” and The Wrestler is no different. We follow Randy through the depths of his tragic life and it’s filmed in such a realistic and intimate way that it almost feel like we’re watching a documentary.

The Academy gave The Wrestler a couple of nominations (Best Actor & Best Supporting Actress) and had this past year not already been filled to the brim with absolutely outstanding movies, I’d have expected this to receive a Best Picture nomination as well (and perhaps even win the award). The Wrestler is simply fantastic and it can still be appreciated even if you’re not a fan of wrestling or Darren Aronofsky.


Let the Right One In

Eli, the vampire next door

Eli, the vampire next door

Let the Right One In is not a horror film. It really isn’t. Sure, there’s a vampire. You’ve got me there. And people get killed. And it isn’t pretty. Still. Let the Right One In is less about horror, and more about finding someone who will stick by you. No matter what. It’s about connections between people that transcend everything.

Let the Right One In is a Swedish film based on a 2004 novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist and centers around the budding friendship between Oskar, a bullied twelve year old, and Eli, the vampire who moves in next door. The film is shot on a stark, snowy Swedish landscape, creating a heightened sense of isolation throughout.

I’ve heard a lot of folks say that Let the Right One In is what Twilight should have been. That’s pretty much bulls**t. Twilight is what it is–a teen romance starring sexy, romanticized vampires. It’s a fantasy. And it’s pretty damn good fantasy at that.

Oskar considers the school bully.

Oskar considers the school bully.

Let the Right One In is something else completely. Sure there’s a vampire. That’s about where the similarities end. The relationship that forms between Eli and Oskar is not idealized. It is not romanticized. It is not sexy. I can’t even say for sure that it’s beautiful. But it is real. And it is honest. And for that reason, the film transcends the trappings of the vampire genre. You don’t have to be into vampires or horror to love this movie. And the cinematography and score alone are enough to make any film lover drool. Combined with a fantastic script, and brilliant acting from the two leads, and it all adds up to something quite special.

Let the Right One In is playing in the CinemaSalem screening room starting March 27th.


Watchmen - Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman - 49x HQ (14) by gr8tfate.

I should start by saying this: Before the release of the trailor for the film, I had never even heard of “Watchmen” (I know: Judge me). Despite my minimal knowledge of this apparently well loved comic series, I joined my CinemaSalem compadres at the IMAX midnight premiere. As I looked around at the long line swerving around the lobby full of fans hoping to get their ideal viewing points (our goal was “middle middle”), noted their t-shirts and complex conversations about character motivations and current day correlations, I realized that not only have many people heard of “Watchmen”, but many people LOVE “Watchmen”. When cinema employees passed the time by asking trivia questions about the comic, I felt like I was at a taping of ‘The Price is Right’ as hundreds of fans debated over how many Nite Owls there had been while holding up fingers and screaming to the emcee. With each questions asked, dozens of copies of the novel would fly out of bags and backpacks for reference and hands would zoom in the air, each person desperate to prove his or her own devotion. This is not a world I am a part of and I realize that alone is reason why I have no business critiquing “Watchmen” as a story or idea. Without having read the graphic novel first, I don’t feel that I can comment on the film’s content. Out of respect for all of the devotees I joined at the midnight premeire, I couldn’t do that. I do, however, have a few cinematic based critiques of the film that I feel are well within my territory as an overall “Watchmen” outsider.

My overall opinion of the film? Gratuitous. Everything about it. It was just excessive. Too much violence. Too much blood. Too many naked scenes (particularly of men, but more on that later). I’m not a prude, but my issue in this particular instance is that I felt the focus of the film overall was on the visual aspects instead of characterization and content. We all know Zack Snyder can make film that looks awesome, but at least “300” was a straightforward story. The concept behind “300” was simple enough to have a basically visual focus. From what I can tell from “Watchmen”, however, the story seems too dense to share the stage with Snyder’s exessive visual bits. The visual and cerebral were in competition for me, and more often than not, the visual won. I know that, as someone unfamiliar with the story, there were things that went over my head and I felt like Synder didn’t let anything process with the audience before jumping to the next visual circus to completely distract us. I’m sure he was doing his best to fit as much information into the film as a whole, but cutting out even half the times we were watching three characters just be naked would have given him at least 10 minutes for a little more story.

While we’re on the subject of nudity, I have to say Synder’s depiction of gender relations and women is pretty disappointing to me. Yes, in both “300” and “Watchmen” there is a long (probably too long) “love” scene where both couples seem to share a respectful relationship. But, in both films there are also incredibly unsettling rape scenes that completely demean women. The female characters in both of these films are very strong and authoritative in pretty extreme ways–one is a queen and one is a superhero, for crying out loud! Doesn’t get much stronger than that. Yet not even these women can conquer the almighty male’s dominating presence. It seems Snyder himself takes issue with the idea that women are just as powerful as men, and likes to remind his audience of where his particular gender preferences lie by not only beating and raping the women, but buy glorifying and perfecting the male form by way of super-jacked Spartans and giant blue genitals. He’s giving the impression that he thinks men are way better than women as a gender. The contrasting sex scenes present in both movies seem to say, “I love how sexy women are! I just don’t like when they think they’re as good at everything as I am”. And that’s a really lame impression to be giving off.

As far as acting goes, I felt that everyone pretty much pulled their own weight in the film. Everyone seemed to pull off their roles well (again, with my elementary knowledge of these characters) and there was nobody that really felt out of place or lagged behind. In my opinion, Billy Crudup, Carla Gugino, and Jackie Earle Haley were the standouts in an all around strong cast.

I simply cannot write a review of this film without mentioning my utter disgust at the poor taste Snyder displayed during the film’s introduction. I, and America, who has just welcomed a new President who will infuse hope, respectability, and change in this pretty damaged country, did NOT need to see Kennedy’s face get blown off. This, I feel, was Snyder simply showing off. As if the audiences are going to say, “Wow! Look how great those special effects are! You can actually see the brains flying out of one of our most beloved president’s head!  Awesome!” I found it completely inappropriate, disrespectful and unneccesary. It’s one thing to feature excessive violence using fictional characters; it is quite another thing entirely to gorify one of the most horrific events in America’s political history. For shame.

As someone unfamiliar with the story, I had a lot of questions. Why were the superheros outlawed? And, if they were outlawed, why was Dr. Manhattan an exception? Where did these characters come from? If these “superheros” were really just regular people, why did they have superhuman strength? Were these characters good guys or bad guys? Even the otherwise all-around good Nite Owl and Silk Spectre unnecessarily mutilated a group of muggers for no other apparent reason than they could. All of my unanswered questions frustrated me, and left me with the feeling that this movie is only meant for people who already know all the answers and is not trying to seek out new fans, of which I was hoping to be.

Gran Torino (this post contains PG-13 language)

Vintage car. Vintage Eastwood. Go see it. gran-torino

Let me start out by saying I loved this film. I really did. Now that I have that out of the way.

This film is not perfect. In fact, it has some fairly irritating flaws, flowing mostly from a script that could’ve used another round of revisions. Clint Eastwood’s Walt Kowalski is a grizzled, old, racist, Korean War vet with about the crappiest family on the planet. They’re over the top stereotypical, overindulged, self-centered  middle class jack asses–completely one-dimensional without any hint that they’re anything more than a plot device. Clunky as hell.

Then there’s this big info dump in which one of the Hmong characters, Sue, explains to Walt, and the audience who the Hmong are. I get that most people probably don’t know, so some info along those lines is necessary, but the script dumps in all in one place–an annoying piece of exposition in the middle of an otherwise well-paced story. A nit pick I suppose, but it ripped me right out of the movie.  The script just can’t keep from getting in the way of itself. It seems to allow for complexity of character in some places, and then falls flat by reverting to one-dimensional caricatures in others. It’s fairly uneven, and helmed by a less skilled director/lead actor, I think this film falls flat on its face.

But on to the good lest you forget I actually liked this movie: Eastwood is brilliant both in front of and behind the camera. Behind the camera, he gets fine performances from his Hmong cast members, many of whom had never been in a film before. They’re not awesome performances, but they’re pretty solid. I really liked Sue, portrayed by Ahney Her. Her performance was a little wooden in parts, but she managed to be endearing, and extremely likeable as she treated Walt  like a person rather than treating him like a category of person. Bee Vang, portraying Sue’s brother Thao, also performs admirably, suitably capturing the awkward teenager who doesn’t fit. He actually manages a steady evolution throughout the film that can be tracked through his body language alone. If you watched the movie without the dialogue, it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out what was going on with this kid.

Eastwood himself is fantastic. His character isn’t likeable at all. He’s a shit. But Eastwood makes you care about what happens to him anyway. Even from very early on, when all evidence of redeeming qualities is lacking. Walt Kowalski is a guy with baggage. A guy with a past. And the gravity of it is everywhere. It’s there when he does something as simple as spit tobacco juice on the sidewalk, or growl when he finds his beer cooler empty. And sure, he’s channeling Dirty Harry here to a degree, but I would be a touch surprised if he wasn’t nominated for best actor for this role.

One other thing I appreciated about this film was that even though it’s clearly a serious drama, there were quite a few laugh out loud moments mostly stemming from some of the appalling insults Walt dreams up for the other characters in the film. You never know exactly what’s going to come out of that guy’s mouth. Good stuff.

I did trash the script earlier–it could be a lot better. But one thing it does well is depict the glue that binds people together. I don’t want to describe the glue–that would give away some of the best parts of the movie away. But I think Gran Torino will make attentive viewers ponder what sort of people they are and whether or not they have that gluey quality.

Finally the car. The car is a character too. It, like Eastwood’s character is an artifact from another era–a surviving piece of a past that seems long gone and altered to the point of being unrecognizable. And Walt couldn’t make his Gran Torino get 30mpg if he tried. It’s a gas guzzling heap of solid metal without automatic locks or windows, sans air bags, missing a fancy alarm system. There’s nothing safe about it. It is what it is. And so is Walt. He is what he is and he doesn’t apologize for it. When he finally embraces his Hmong neighbors, he’s still a cranky, old racist, who honestly doesn’t seem to learn a thing about acceptance from his neighbors even though he becomes intensely loyal to them and protective of them. But I don’t think Walt’s meant to be the guy who learns something. We are. And as problematic as the script is, Clint Eastwood, both behind and in front of the camera, makes it work.

Gran Torino is rated R for violence, smoking, and naughtly language, which includes swear words, uncivilized terms for human body parts, and a cornucopia of racial epithets.

Changeling (aka Law and Order starring Angelina Jolie)

changelingOkay. Changeling hasn’t gotten universally positive reviews. And even though I thought the film was riveting, I can kind of see why. Here’s a film that was marketed as this dark mystery. Well there are certainly mysterious things that happen in the film that make the viewer think, “Hmm. What’s up with that?” and “I wonder how that’s going to turn out.” But the film focuses on an actual kidnapping case that is more or less solved with a lot of the film remaining. If one expects what the trailers promise–a taut thriller–one will be disappointed. Changeling more or less follows the structure of Law and Order: the crime is solved, and then we move to the courts where everything is resolved one way or another.

If, however, one goes into the film expecting a dramatization of the real life kidnapping of Walter Collins, one will be delighted. And here’s why. Clint Eastwood made a damn fine film. The real life story is so incredibly appalling, and takes so many bizarre twists and turns, that a film based on it, almost necessarily, seems to go in too many different directions. In fact, if the story didn’t have basis in reality, it would almost be unbelievable.  But knowing that this stuff (more or less) really happened, it’s fairly appalling, and it’s pretty tough to look away.

It’s also pretty tough to look. I’m glad I saw it. But I won’t ever watch it again–not because it’s bad, but because it makes me feel uncomfortable in the same way that Sherry Baby and Monster did. Along with those two films, Changeling left me wondering exactly what kind of crap world we live in, Monster and Changeling especially, because they’re both based on real events.

And Angelina Jolie is the reason this film is so hard to watch. A viewer could walk into this film having never thought about what it would feel like to lose a child, but it would be pretty hard to walk out without having gleaned the horror of it from Jolie’s performance. She’s angry, helpless, frantic, and completely bared and vulnerable. As her deep frustration grows, so did mine. It’s difficult not to go through this ordeal alongside her. Director Clint Eastwood deserves some of the credit of course, but Jolie once again proves that she’s far more than a pretty face.

I have two gripes with the film. The first is with LAPD Captain JJ Jones, played by Jeffrey Donovan. My gripe is on two levels. First, I don’t think the guy is a very talented actor. I watch his show Burn Notice, but more for the ancillary characters played by Bruce Campbell, Gabrielle Anwar, and Sharon Gless. In fact, the first few episodes I watched, I fairly well hated the wooden Donovan. He’s grown on me in the context of the show. But in this film, he has this wildly vacillating Irish accent (well Irish is my best guess) and he’s stiff as a board. Which I might buy if I hadn’t seen him already playing stiff board in something else. But in addition to Donovan’s annoying performance, the character of the Captain is fairly one-dimensional as well. It’s difficult to beleive the real life guy was as much of a complete slime as this film suggests. Perhaps he was. I’m not going to say it’s impossible. But just one small indicator that this character has some small vestige of a soul would have been nice.

The second is that you’ll leave the film questioning the motives of some of the key players and wondering what exactly happened. The film doesn’t tell you. And there are plenty of possibilities to mull over.  The curious can easily discover what happened, but that’s extra work, and I already paid nine bucks and spent two and a half hours watching this thing. I don’t think I should have homework.

But, gripes aside, I highly recommend Changeling. In addition to the kidnapping plot, it shines a light on LAPD corruption, along with some of the indignities faced by women early in the last century.  Superior supporting performances by Amy Ryan, Jason Butler Harner, and Michael Kelley round out this compelling historical drama. Don’t miss it!



Australia is Baz Luhrmann’s new opus featuring his muse, Nicole Kidman, alongside Hugh Jackman. You might remember Luhrmann from his super stylized films Moulin Rouge! and Romeo & Juliet. And if you’re expecting such over the top and over saturated eye candy in Australia, you’ll be pretty disappointed.

Luhrmann has been criticized for his “gimmicky” visuals used in previous movies. I believe he’s turned some people off with his signature style, of which I’m a big fan, and I think it’s those people that will appreciate Australia more than his usual devoted followers.

When watching Australia, the only thing that was giving me signs that is was a Luhrmann film was just how epic it was. He’s known for interpreting majestic stories and Australia is no different. It’s an epic tale, yes, but also epic in length. Preparing yourself to sit down for almost 3 hours straight is a pretty daunting task.

And that’s my major problem with Australia. Unlike a monumental book where you can spend months reading it, digesting it in small bites, this movie has to be taken all at once. If you were to adapt War & Peace or The Epic Of Gilgamesh into a film, you’d inevitably have to cut some pieces out. Tales that long don’t work as one single movie unless it’s abridged.

Obviously, these are my opinions. I don’t have the best attention span and extravagantly long movies such as Australia are difficult for me to watch in the theaters. If I was able to watch it at home, pause it, grab a snack, or do whatever, I’d probably be less harsh on it’s running time. But I know there are those of you who wait with baited breath for those movies that break the 140 minute mark. I mean, it’s not every year that we get a Titanic or Return Of The King. So if you’re not a fan of “comic book” movies like The Dark Knight, then here’s the one you’ve been waiting for.

Slumdog Millionaire

slumdog-millionaire-fl-01Slumdog Millionaire, co-directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and Sunshine) and first-time Indian director Loveleen Tandan is a touching, sometimes brutal tales of love, family, and destiny that takes place in modern day India.

Without giving away too much of the plot, Jamal Malik is a young man who has been a slumdog all of his life – living off next to nothing, never really having his own home and constantly traveling the country chasing after his one true love. Jamal appears on the Indian version of the poplar game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire , and using past life experiences is easily able to answer the questions he is given. Of course, being that he is from the slums he is not supposed to know the answers to the questions. Before long he is taken into police custody on suspicion of cheating. The film is much deeper and complex than that, delving into family conflict, gang crime, and race and religious conflicts.

Slumdog Millionaire is, hands down, the best film I’ve seen this year. I will even go as far as to say it’s the best film I’ve seen in the last few years. Boyle is a brilliant director, working with a bunch of no-name and child actors and getting Oscar worthy performances out of them. Boyle and Tandan craft a beautiful epic that is equal parts suspenseful, harrowing and tear-jerking touching. The beautiful cinematography coupled with excellent choices in music really bring the story to life and help the viewer to really connect with the characters and understand what they’re going through. Danny Boyle, an English director exquisitely captures the heart of India and reels you in. Danny Boyle, while always a good director, has really stepped up his game with this film and proven that he really can make any kind of film and work in almost any genre.

I honestly can’t recommend this film enough and I urge everyone to see it, even if the premise doesn’t interest you. Slumdog Millionaire is an almost perfectly crafted film and one that will stay with you for a long time.

Quantum Of Solace

I’m not a huge James Bond fan. It’s not that I don’t like him, I’m just not that familiar with him. The Bond movies never called to me. I only recently saw my first (Casino Royale) because I knew I would inevitably be seeing the new Quantum Of Solace when it came out. And I also knew that Quantum was a direct sequel to Casino, so I didn’t want to be left behind.

It’s hard to watch a James Bond movie and not compare it to any/all of the others that have been made. I know I don’t have much to compare Quantum Of Solace to, but in the back of my head I was always thinking about all the differences between that and Casino Royale. I think for Quantum to be a successful movie, people should try to watch it with an open mind.

I enjoyed Quantum Of Solace quite a bit. There was plenty of fun action, a fantastic car chase, and lots of running and explosions. Plus Daniel Craig was as suave and bad-ass as ever. What more could you hope for in a James Bond movie? Well, I don’t know, but Casino Royale had it and Quantum didn’t. I would certainly put Quantum ranking with Casino, but it just wasn’t quite as good.

Quantum Of Solace had a lot to live up to as Casino Royale seems to be many people’s favorite Bond movie yet. Is it still worth seeing? Definitely. But try not to compare Quantum to other Bond movies. Just look at it as a fun fast paced action flick and you shouldn’t be disappointed.

More Asian Cinema, a.k.a. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai is superhuman (minor spoilers)

So I’ve been watching lots of Asian cinema recently. Not sure why it’s been such a heavy concentration lately. But there you go.  Here’s a quick run down:

Hard Boiled. Always heard it was an action masterpiece, so I decided I better watch it. The film is directed by John Woo and stars Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. Chow Yun-Fat’s character is a trigger happy cop nick-named Tequila whose parter gets killed during the investigation of Triad gun runners. In the course of the film he hooks up with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai’s character, an undercover cop named Alan, who’s in deep with the gun-running underground. That’s the setup, and I don’t plan to give another single thing away, because if you like action films, you have to watch this movie. John Woo demonstrates how it’s done. But kick-butt action scenes aside, what really works about this movie is Alan. Undercover work hasn’t been kind to him. He’s a guy who’s had to compromise everything he stands for to sell his cover. And it isn’t pretty. Hard Boiled is an action extravaganza with a substantial body count. But it’s also the story of a guy who got in deeper than he would have liked, and the toll it takes on him.

Hey, it's Tony Leung Chiu-Wai again!

In the Mood for Love. Not an action film. Quite the reverse. Directed by Wong Kar-wai and starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (yes) this film is set in Hong Kong in the 1960’s. The movie follows a romance that blooms awkwardly and a bit painfully after the two main characters discover their spouses are having an affair. Together. They vow never to behave like their cheating spouses, and even as they fall in love with each other, keep their relationship chaste. What I loved most about this movie was how it’s shot. Kar-wai shoots the film so that we end up being voyeurs, peering at them from inside a closet, or through a door. I felt as if I was viewing something personal and private, and it connected me to the characters, while at the same time heightening my discomfort over their awkward situation. The actors contribute an achingly subtle and understated performance, which combined with a stunning soundtrack amount to a beautiful film that explores the often complicated and dissonant relationship between the emotion of love and the social institution of marriage.

Lust, Caution. I meant to see this film when it came out, because I heart Ang Lee. But I was, frankly, stupid, and I decided to wait to get the DVD because I got wind of some less than stellar reviews. Pish Posh. That usually does not stop me, and I don’t know why it did in this instance. At any rate, I watched it recently and was bowled over by how completely entranced I was watching this film. Set in China during the Japanese occupation, the larger plot of the film follows a resistance cell as they plot to assassinate a high-ranking official in the collaborationist government. We follow this story through Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei), a young college student who becomes involved with the resistance. She is to lure the target, Mr. Yee (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, surprise!) to an unguarded location where the resistance can kill him. Easier said then done. In the course of infiltrating Mr. Yee’s home, we watch Chia Chi (now posing as “Mrs. Mak) descend deeper and deeper into a troubling relationship with Mr. Yee. And while Lust, Caution is, on the surface, a film about espionage and resistance, it is also about the transformation? destruction? liberation? of Chia Chi. Which is it? Is it all three? I will be adding this film to my DVD collection. I hardly noticed the long running time (although most negative reviews gripe about it) and highly recommend the film.

Grave of the Fireflies. This film is Japanese, and does not star Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. But that’s okay! All I have to say about this film is: Just see this movie. Show it to your kids. It’s heartbreakingly sad, but its intensely personal portrayal of the horrors of war make it a film everyone should watch. Written and directed by Isao Takahata, adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, Grave of the Fireflies is an animated tale about a young boy and his sister who are left to fend for themselves after their town is firebombed in a WWII air raid. The animation is not as stylized as most anime, favoring more realistic renditions of people and the environment. The animation adds a strange realism to depictions of bombers flying overhead, dropping incendiaries on various towns. Perhaps it’s because seeing that kind of thing for the first time must seem a bit unreal. So the animation capitalizes on that fact, and every time I saw a shot of the bombers flying over head, I felt fear, and even found myself wondering what it would feel like to see bombers flying over Salem. That’s not something a film has ever made me stop and think about. This film is kind of a kick in the chest. On the one hand you watch this young boy (Seita) looking after his little sister (Setsuko) and you get what love is. The film is a tear-jerker for sure, but there are a lot of moments where the film will make you feel genuine happiness and overwhelming joy. On the other hand it takes place during a war. A nasty one. And on a large scale, we all know why war sucks. But it’s the small scale consequences of war that are easy to forget, and sometimes, when faced with them, the hardest to bear. Because on a small scale war isn’t about the ideologies that that nations fight over. It’s about the people who are trying to survive. So add this film to your Netflix queue. You’ll blow through a lot of tissues watching the film, but in the end you’ll probably be glad you did.

And finally, we don’t talk about television on this blog as a rule, but since this is a post about all the Asian stuff I’ve been watching lately, I might as well give a short mention to Samurai Champloo (roughly meaning Samurai Mash-up). It’s a 26 episode anime series written and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, who also directed the anime hit Cowboy Bebop. It follows a young woman who, after saving a reserved ronin (Jin) and a extroverted loose cannon (Mugen) from execution, presses them into helping her find a samurai who smells of sunflowers. So far it’s pretty hilarious and has had some great fight scenes. Although I usually recommend Cowboy Bebop or Wolf’s Rain to people who want to try a little anime, I think Samurai Champloo would be a good starting point as well. Like Cowboy Bebop, the characters are fun and the soundtrack is always great!

Coming up: 2046, a sequel to In the Mood for Love.  I hear it features time travel, which I would normally be into, but find strange since In the Mood for Love did not feature any such sci-fi mainstays. But Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, that stud of Chinese film, reprises his role. He is pretty dreamy. And a damn fine actor. So that’s a big plus. We’ll see how it goes. ;-) Until next time!


Blindness is an amazing movie. Granted, when Fernando Meirelles (the man who directed City Of God) makes a movie, you kind of expect it to be. His newest is based upon the book of the same name by author José Saramago and is simply gorgeous. The premise is that a strange disease causes people to suddenly go blind and infects the population worldwide. It’s a movie less about the disease and more about how people react to losing their sight.

Blindness has a very bleak outlook on human morality. What happens in the movie is that most people turn into vicious disgusting animals who’s only goal is self preservation. It’s one of those movies that is disturbing and depressing while at the same time makes you question yourself and your own moral compass. It really makes you wonder what your limits are.

I’ve read some mixed reviews about Blindness and truthfully, that kind of confuses me. It’s difficult for me to think of a single bad thing to say about this movie. Well, I guess some might criticize that there are no answers to any questions you would have about the disease. Where it came from, how it spreads, anything of the sort gets thrown to the wayside. Like I said, it’s a film about people, not a sci-fi scary disease movie.

It seems to me like every time someone had something bad to say about Blindness was when they were comparing it to the book. Fair enough, I guess. But the movie is still truly fantastic and visually gorgeous. If you’ve read the book, watch the movie with an open mind. It can’t be that bad. And if, like me, you haven’t read the book yet, do yourself a favor and see the movie first. That way you get to love the movie and then you can go read the book and love that, too.