Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Movie Reviews: The Fighter, True Grit, The Next Three Days and New In Town

The Fighter
Christian Bale's performance in The Fighter is incredible. His Oscar is well deserved. This movie will make you uncomfortable. It will make you wince. It will make you angry. In the end, it will make you glad you watched it. Mark Wahlberg's "Irish" Mickey Ward is another in what is becoming his trademark underdog roles. Wahlberg really championed this script and was right to do so.

True Grit
When you remake a John Wayne classic, you've already got a strike against you in my book. You just don't mess with The Duke. The Coen Brothers and Jeff Bridges didn't get that memo and the cinematic world is the better for it. This version of True Grit is grittier than the original and, for me, more poignant. Bridges' performance is outstanding and homeschooled Hailee Steinfeld is incredible.

The Next Three Days
You just can't go wrong with a Russell Crowe movie (The Quick and the Dead being a possible exception). This is an excellent suspense movie. It occasionally stretches believability to the breaking point, but it was clever, well-acted and had me on the edge of my seat, which is what I look for in this genre.

New In Town
While I love Harry Connick, Jr., I'm kind of holding a grudge against Renee Zellweger for the unceremonious dumping of Kenny Chesney. Nevertheless, this is a really cute, sweet movie. I don't need to tell you it's predictable - it's a rom-com afterall, but I will tell you it is surprisingly affirming of Midwestern values.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Top Ten Things I Learned in Memphis

10. Types of Elvis memorabilia could serve as a definition of ad infinitum.

9. The music of the 70s is the only thing about that era worthy of nostalgia.

8. The home of the Civil Rights Movement is a good example of how the South has put an ugly past behind her.

7. You don't listen to the music of blues musicians; you experience the music of blues musicians.

6. Young people need hard knocks in life to mature them.

5. Surrounding yourself with "yes" men is self-destructive. (see #6)

4. Barbecue is a noun, not a verb.

3. Barbecue is the genus; dry rub, sweet, spicy, etc. are species of that genus.

2. Memphis in the summer can serve as a staging area for transport to HELL!

1. Elvis is alive and well and living in Memphis, TN!