Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movies Worth A Second Look: 'Polisse'

A harrowing look at the day-to-day work of the men and women who form the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police, this acclaimed French film received limited release in the United States in May 2012, but is worth a look on DVD and Blu-ray. The performances are superb with the focus entirely on the police officers who have to deal with child abuse and neglect cases on a daily basis and the emotional toll the work takes on them and their families. The subject matter is unpleasant but certainly relevant in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky case. "Polisse" won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for 13 César Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscar. While some of the film tends to drag and many of the scenes show the mundane way the unit approaches its work and builds a case,  there is a shocking ending that you will not be prepared for.

Watch the trailer for "Polisse" here.

Guest Review: 'Les Misérables' Will Move You

By James Phyrillas

So, I decided that I couldn't wait, ahem - "one day more" - to see "Les Misérables," and I saw it today. Now, I have a heart of stone and a belief that humanity cannot be changed for the better (sound familiar?). That being said, I've never cried more in my entire life. 

This film takes everything that makes a film great and does the exact opposite. There's no flashy effects, no clever camera styles, and none of those cheap flashback moments. No, instead, this film is fueled only by human emotion. The people in the film live in true misery. Children are murdered, and their blood lines the streets of Paris. This film has a very clear understanding of death and how it feels to others. When a character goes through suffering, it is felt by everyone. 

Which reminds me, I must credit the actors for this, specifically Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. (Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Boham Carter also do a lot to liven things up.) And of course, there's the religious standpoint of it all: Jean Valjean puts all his faith in God, and everything turns around for him. Javert acts like all those other religious wackos who think they have the power to damn people, and look where that gets him. But when it is all over, the grand finale is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I'm getting teary-eyed just typing this, I hope I don't short out the computer. This is a film for the ages, my personal greatest film of all time. All I can say is, I'm proud to serve my God.

Yeah, that's right. I'm tired of hiding my personal reviews of movies. I'm going to make Facebook a movie-reviewing site! VIVA LA REVOLUTION...yeah, I'm never gonna get over this movie.

NEW ON DVD: Bradley Cooper is all heart and soul in 'The Words'

NEW ON DVD: Bradley Cooper is all heart and soul in 'The Words'

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Movies Worth Another Look: 'Safe'

Director/Writer Boaz Yakin teams up with British action star Jason Statham for one of the best action films in years. Statham, who has sleepwalked through many of his recent roles, gives one of his best acting performances in this story about a former cop/mercenary/CIA-type who befriends a young Chinese girls who is in the middle of a gang war involving Russian and Chinese mobsters in New York City. The action is first rate and the story is gripping. This film inexplicably died at the box office in April, earning a paltry $17 million. It's worth watching on DVD.