The Paperboy is the latest of a series of movies about a class of people lower economically, culturally and sometimes morally. Winter's Bone and Beasts of the Southern Wild included people we could admire, but Killing Them Softly, Killer Joe, and now The Paperboy feature characters we would not care to spend time with in real life.
The really great thing about Life of Pi is the most incredible job of computer generation you’ve ever seen, a tiger you simply will not believe is not the genuine furry article; after all, do the end credits not say that the Humane Society saw to it that no animals were harmed during the making of this picture? Well, maybe the Humane Society looked after the hyena and the orangutan and the big fish. But the tiger, improbably named Richard Parker, was computer generated, and so astonishingly well generated that I tremble that the day is at hand when human actors will be replaced by machines and we may not even notice.
Killer Joe is one of those movies about a family so dysfunctional that it makes you feel satisfied with your own. Emile Hirsch, the central character and the son, is probably as normal as any son who has ever hired a professional to kill his mother, and Juno Temple is doing not badly for a girl whose mother tried to suffocate her. The father, Thomas Haden Church, is extremely unintelligent, and Gina Gershon, his second wife, is a bit of a tramp, if I may revive a term pretty much abandoned now. And none of them has what I would regard as anything like a normal moral sense.
Cloud Atlas is a movie obviously made by professionals who know their work. It moves pretty fast and looks spectacular, and except for the Flash Gordon transportation devices, it doesn’t look like any other movie I can think of. Even the mountain Halle Berry and Tom Hanks climb doesn’t look like any mountain I have seen, on screen or off, and the futuristic sets for the future-but pre-apocalyptic sequence bear only generic resemblance to other futuristic sets. Makeup people have certainly earned their pay as they disguise Tom Hanks and Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent and others i
Frankenweenie had several strikes against it before it even came on, so I consulted with no less than eight people about it after it ended, and must report that nobody, including me, rated it at less than three stars out of a possible four, with half giving it a maximum four. I don’t like Tim Burton’s stop-motion puppets because they are either spherical heads with tiny pyramidal noses or grotesque but too traditional caricatures. But you have to credit Frankenweenie with effective emotional expression whenever emotional expression is attempted. But only the caricature
Time magazine says Ben Affleck wants to make “serious movies for serious people,” by which, if we can judge by 2010’s The Town and this year’s Argo, he means movies of the old genre type, especially semi-documentaries and films noir, featuring straightforward storytelling without a lot of emphasis on internal action and flashbacks, clear and relatively simple plot lines but a lot of suspense, characters that do not need a lot of introspection but do behave in understandable ways for understandable reasons, and in general a clear resemblance to the world we live i