Sunday, March 10, 2013

Movie Reviews

Samsara: This is a visual feast, simply put. With no speech, only a sound track and stunning visuals, it presents views of the world, views of birth, life, and death. Some of the images are gorgeous, some awesome, some grisly and mildly disturbing (nothing that would shock any American television viewer). The film is shot in 70 mm, which gives it a high-definition worthy of its topics. The film gives us our contemporary world, really full of wonders, some good, some not so good, but it gives us a wide glimpse of this world of birth and death, the world of samsara. Here's Iowa Guru's review.

Lincoln. Daniel Day-Lewis deserved his Oscar, and although it didn't win for best picture, perhaps it should have. Yes, the film was not one that left you with a strong feeling at the end--we all know Lincoln's end and his immortality in American history. Perhaps Lincoln is too complex a figure to allow a single film to capture him. The film does a good job of portraying the politically treacherous world in which Lincoln operated. It also performs a service of demonstrating the trade-offs and pressures that he had to face. One can see how the presidency ages every man who occupies the position, but Lincoln's change in visage is perhaps one of the most stark. A melancholy man at times to begin with, the weight of the horrible war bore down upon him. In the end, I think that the film provides us with a sense of the man and some insight into his world. Like almost every  bio pic, I think that it has limits because it focuses on a man and not events, as such, but it's still a great lesson. 

Argo.  I enjoyed this film and thought it well done. However, I didn't find that it broke any new ground, that it told an especially tricky story, or that it left me with new insight. As Stanley Fish wrote, correctly, I think, it was essentially a caper movie well done, but it doesn't take us anywhere new. I agree. I just don't think that it was of Best Picture material, although I didn't see much of the competition. 

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