Sunday Movie Roundup (5/14/2017)

This was a great week.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  discovering unexpectedly good films in out-of-the-way places is one of the things that keeps my faith in cinema alive.  There are good things happening out there; you just have to be persistent and know how to wade through all the sewage.

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Sunday Film Roundup (4/30/2017)

Escobar:  Paradise Lost (2014)

Director:  Andrea DiStefano

A mildly absorbing crime melodrama about an innocent Canadian guy named Nick who marries Pablo Escobar’s niece and gets sucked into the family business.  A theme like this has great potential if handled the right way, but it turns out that the director prefers formula to serious drama.  Irritatingly fresh-faced young Canadian (Josh Hutcherson) is hanging around on the beaches of Colombia in the early 1990s with his brother, doing not much of anything but surfing and looking like a dipshit gringo target for extortion.

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Sunday Movie Roundup (4/23/2017)

Oklahoma City (2017)

Director:  Barak Goodman

The 1990s seem to have an air of unreality about them now.  Looking back, they seem like a time of missed opportunities:  failure to reform the financial system, failure to improve the infrastructure, failure to understand the consequences of unrelenting interference in Middle Eastern affairs.  The drama of 9/11–and everything that followed from it–superseded all that came before it.  It blocked out from our collective memory the threat of domestic radicalism and replaced it the the overarching National Security State where everything was watched and everything was monitored.

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Sunday Movie Roundup (4/16/2017)

Disorder (2015)

Director:  Alice Winocour

This is one of those great, slow-burning movies that slipped under the radar (at least here in the United States).  It’s part character study and part suspense drama, but the end result is a very satisfying cinematic experience.  Lead actor Matthias Schoenaerts is a great actor whom I’ve admired for a long time; he deserves to be a big star and I hope he continues on the trajectory he’s on.  To get an idea of just how good he can be, you should check out the great horror film Left Bank (2008) and the drama Bullhead (2011).

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