Now available on DVD
Dir. James Cameron. 2009. PG-13. 162mins. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi.
Cameron’s massive gamble on 3-D and green-screen technology paid off like crazy. But then there’s the script. Without the 3-D, and on the reduced scale of your television, will this epic lecture on the goodness of nature and the badness (but also total awesomeness!) of the military still carry you to another world?
Dir. Scott Cooper. 2009. R. 111mins. Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Rick Dial.
The script is a textbook character study—broken-down country singer gets last chance at redemption from a younger woman with a young son—but Bridges brings his weathered charm and his eye for acting detail to the role, elevating the material to a higher level.
The Lovely Bones
Dir. Peter Jackson. 2009. PG-13. 135mins. Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon.
A dead girl looks down from heaven on her family and on the man who killed her. The novel was a huge hit, but the movie? Not so much.
Dir. Olivier Assayas. 2008. N/R. 99mins. In French with subtitles. Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jeremie Renier, Dominique Reymond, Edith Scob.
After the death of their elderly mother, three siblings must deal with all the objects they have inherited, and learn that they have very different views of the meaning of things in preserving memories. That makes it sound dry and talky, but it’s lovely and moving.