Review: The Assassination of Jesse James

Director Andrew Dominik has done something rather amazing. He’s made a movie about one of the most notorious outlaws in the history of America without showing hardly any of his law-breaking ways. And the fact he’s done it in a compelling, exciting way is a credit to his skill and talent. The film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, is an atmospheric tour de force, relying heavily on both Dominik’s skill behind the camera and the work of Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in front of it. Both parts come together beautifully to reveal the first real awards contender of the season. Continue reading “Review: The Assassination of Jesse James”

Revoew: 30 Days of Night

thirty_days_of_nightWhat can I say? I like monster movies! I like films with evil, scary things going bump in the night. I like films that cause girls to grab me, terrified, in the darkness. So let me start by saying the new vampire film 30 Days of Night delivers those things in spades. Sure, it has some problems, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do, and today, I find that a rare thing indeed.

The plot, based on the Dark Horse graphic novel by Ben Templesmith and Steve Niles (who also co-wrote the screenplay), offers a wonderfully original concept and one which should have been thought of years ago. The vampires attack the far northern town of Barrow, Alaska, well above the Arctic Circle, where when the sun goes down for winter, it stays down for a full month. This gives the monsters plenty of time to hunt down their prey. And hunt they do. In the first few days these vampires, led by the beautifully dark-eyed Marlow (Danny Huston), take out most of the town, leaving only a handful of survivors. And, because they can, they do it in full view of God and the camera. Continue reading “Revoew: 30 Days of Night”