Thursday, February 11, 2010

02-11-10: A Serious Man Walks Hard into a Mirrormask

D: Jake Kasdan. John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Tim Meadows.

***I watched the 2 hour director's cut which is about 25 mins. longer than the theatrical cut.***

This parody/satire chronicles the life of Dewey Cox from his childhood to his long overdue return to the stage.  It sends up films like Ray and Walk the Line.  Unfortunately, there are way more misses than hits and I barely even mustered a chuckle throughout the film.

Oddly enough, I liked the songs. They were played straight with the exception of one that is loaded with innuendo and that was rather funny.

Because this was the extended cut there certainly was a lot that needed to be cut for pacing.  However, cut it down isn't going to improve the comedy of it all.  As a result, I didn't bother to watch the theatrical version.

MirrorMask (2005) ***1/2
D: Dave McKean. C: Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry, Gina McKee, Rob Brydon.

From the imaginations of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean comes this visually arresting, entertaining, dark and fun fantasy that the entire family is sure to enjoy.

The story follows Helena as she enters a magical world that can only be a dream...or is it?

She journeys through a world that could only be a dream; bizarre, peculiar, amusing, creepy and dangerous.

She takes on a quest to help save the kingdom and the deeper she goes the clearer things become.

This was a very satisfying fantasy adventure.  In some ways it reminded me of Coraline, which was also written by Gaiman.  I think it would be an idle double feature with Labyrinth.  Check it out.

A SERIOUS MAN (2009) ****1/2
D: Joel & Ethan Coen. C: Michael Stuhlbarg,  Richard Kind, Fred Melamad.

The Coens latest is a black comedy that follows a professor who's life is unraveling before him and he seeks answers as to why everything is falling apart.

This is a funny, dark, sad and sometimes enlightening film.   The circumstances of the events throughout are cringe worthy but feel very real and surprisingly funny.

Only the Coens could make a broken marriage funny.

The picture is well acted, with sharp funny dialogue and a number of memorable moments.

This is up there with some of my Coen favorites.

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