Tag Archives: drama

Bartleby’s Best Films of 2009

24 Jan

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Yes sir, I know I’m quite late with this, but this past month has been loaded down with surprises—both good and bad—that have drawn my attention away from the blog. Hopefully, this will be the last bit of procrastination the site sees for awhile. The plan is to get back into a daily posting framework, and if that’s successful, move to a legitimate website sometime in February. Until then, here’s my belated list of  2009’s best films.

I’ve heard many complain that this past year was a weak one cinematically speaking, and in a late scrabble to identify the potential ‘award winners’ for Oscar season many are coming up short with candidates. Well, bah! to that I say. Regarding the medium of film as a whole, I see 2009 as nothing less than a fantastic success.

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Movie Review: ’44 Inch Chest’ is full of British treasures

15 Jan

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44 Inch Chest (R) 112 min. Directed by: Malcolm Venville Written by: Louis Mellis & David Scinto Starring: Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Dillane, Joanne Whalley Cinematography: Dan Landin Original Score: Angelo Badalamenti

3.5 marias

There are six men in the room. It’s one of those run-down, grimy hotel jobs where the walls haven’t seen a paint roller in centuries, and the furnishings suggests it’s mostly used for taking care of unsavory business best not exposed to the light. Now imagine for a moment, you are the sixth man in the room…who happens to be tied to a chair with a bag over your head, listening to the other five decide your fate. Continue reading

Top 25 Animated Movies of the Decade: Part 2

10 Dec

December 10th, 2009–

Ok, here we go. The top ten animated films of the last decade. There’s not much to say here that I didn’t mention in the first installment of this article. Honestly, this was such a great 10 years for animation in general, that even limiting the choices and ranking them has been a fool’s errand. But, I guess I’m that fool and the following represent what I think are the finest accomplishments of the form. Each and every one of these could be competing for number 1. Here goes… Continue reading

Movie Review: Sheridan bears ‘Brothers’ burden

5 Dec

December 5th, 2009–

 I’m not sure why Hollywood is still stuck in the trend of churning out near carbon-copies of foreign films, but I think it’s time to lay that tradition down. Sure, a few of them manage to establish themselves as individual work (Insomnia, Departed, The Fall) but mostly it seems like studios suspect that American audiences won’t accept something until its been transferred to their language with actors they recognize. The result is usually a watered down facsimile of the original. Continue reading

Movie Review: Hancock finds the sunny ‘Side’ of Oher’s story

21 Nov

John Lee Hancock’s film version of Michael Lewis’ novel, The Blind Side is an unexpected holiday gift to  movie-goers looking for a little emotional uplift with their theater experience. In a sea of empty calorie FX pictures, yawny teen flicks and great but devestating dramatic pieces,  Blind Side is that dependable but all too infrequent of cinematic treats; an honest to goodness family film.   Continue reading

Movie Review: Bright Star

28 Oct

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Oct 29th, 2009–

Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal -yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
-John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

cinemagrade AThe life of John Keats was a frequently troubled and brief one, punctuated by a burning brilliance of the heart and mind extinguished too soon. One of the youngest of the Romantic poets, Keats lived a life dedicated to his art and it cost him much in terms of financial stability, reputation and  health. Dying at the age of 25 in Rome (of tuberculosis) he would survive on in his work–poems not much loved in his day would later be hailed as masterpieces.  And yet, in his short life, Keats still had one great love, Fanny Brawne. Jane Campion’s Bright Star is the tender and elegant chronicle of that love and it is not a modern film in any respect; it honors and celebrates Keat’s romantic ideals, even when acknowledging that the reality of the world is sometimes their enemy. Continue reading

Free Baltimore screenings of ‘The Vampire’s Assistant’ and ‘Amelia’! Get details here!

13 Oct

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Oct 13th, 2009–
Hey everyone! Attention to all Baltimore film fans looking to see some free movies a little bit early. Right now, the website Atomic Popcorn (it’s also a pretty comprehensive repository of film news and reviews) is promoting screenings of both the children’s horror-fantasy Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and the Hillary Swank Earhart bio-pic Amelia.  The screenings will take place at AMC Whitemarsh on the evenings of the 20th (Cirque) and the 21st (Amelia) of October. Continue reading