New on DVD - 11/11/08
HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY (***½)
This is the kind of summer movie we need more of - a lush, intelligent spectacle that fuels the imagination and makes the impossible possible. It is a world of fairies, demons, angels, adventure, humor, unforgettable characters and unmitigated creativity. It's the best superhero movie we have seen so far this season (yes, even better than "Iron Man") and paves the way for del Toro's upcoming "The Hobbit." If there was ever any doubt about his ability to continue Peter Jackson's epic vision, then "Hellboy II: The Golden Army" erases it. This is summer filmmaking as it was meant to be.
LOVE SONGS (***½)
FTFR DVD Pick of the Week
It's all so intoxicating, so effortlessly sexy, that it's easy to forgive the fact that it drags a bit in the middle section, but it quickly finds its footing again once the new love interest is introduced. I loved the fact that the movie dwells squarely in a world where love crosses the boundaries of gender and defies the labels of straight and gay. The idea that a person's soulmate could literally be anyone, be they male, female, or undecided is a universal one, and Love Songs handles that with a refreshing degree of normalcy. Love knows no bounds, and Honoré demonstrates that with beauty and grace, through Beaupain's lovely songs and the gorgeous cinematography by Rémy Chevrin.
MISTER FOE (***)
Mister Foe isn't as moving or as emotionally probing as it could be, but it offers a beautifully unique window into the life of a decidedly odd teenager with enough issues to fill several psychology textbooks with a refreshingly uncynical eye. I may never be able to fully explain why it entertained me or why I cared so much about Hallam, but I think that's really the point. We watch, as Hallam does, for the sake of watching, and to find perhaps a window into our own world. And in Hallam we find a scarred soul with a heart of gold, whose curious charm we may not be able to articulate, but its effects won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (*½)
Clone Wars is strictly second rate territory, aimed directly and children and hardcore fans, who aren't even treated with enough dignity to be given a decent movie. Instead they get this laughable cartoon that doesn't even attempt to hide its soullessness. It's a sad indication of just how far Star Wars has fallen, because in The Clone Wars, the original magic is nowhere to be found.
SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO (***)
Sukiyaki Western Django is a stylish and fun genre throwback that honors the films of the past while crafting a rip-roaring new experience with a gritty and clever verve.