Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Sometimes you come across a new young actor that you are sure will is destined to leave behind a legacy in film. Although this first impression doesn't happen often they do sneak up on me, usually in above average films. These are some that come to mind. Dakota Fanning (I Am Sam), Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland), Leonardo DiCaprio (What's Eating Gilbert Grape), Christian Bale (Empire of the Sun), Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass and 500 Days of Summer) and now Saoirse Ronan. I covered Saoirse last year in my review of Lovely Bones. and raved about her then. This role permits her to further showcase her skills. In both she attacks the role with an innocence that is rarely seen in child actor roles. In Hanna we see this innocence and also the haunting fierceness that a programmed killer requires. She filled the screen in every scene, which isn't easy to do when you are sharing that screen with Eric Bana and the incomparable Cate Blanchett. Watch for her in the years to come.

Now for the film. It stands its ground well when you consider that this story has been done before to near perfection in Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional. Although the films are similar their approach to character development differ in a fundamental way. Natalie Portman as Mathilda was allowed to take a more Lolita approach (which she made famous in her subsequent role as Marty in 1996's Beautiful Girls), while Ronan as Hanna had to convince us that she was as wise in killing as she was bewildered in the everyday trappings of modern life. Both actresses fielded complex roles and both surpassed the material and improved the project.

I am also going to try something new here. I will rate the movie out of ten using two measurements. First a rating of the overall entertainment value of the movie. Some great movies may fall shorter on entertainment value but yet still hold historical or critical significance based on memorable acting, daring story line or breakthrough cinematic styling. Hence the second rating will measure this cinematic significance. A movie such as Avatar might get a 5 or 6 for entertainment and 8-9 for significance.

This movie: Entertainment value of 6.5 with 7.5 significance for the acting and compelling storytelling.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NFL Opening Week

Did I just see Rex Ryan across in drag? Ok I know they are twins, but that hair and their similarity was ridiculous. I hate to say it but both of them seem to be pretty good coaches. For all of those Dallas fans out there (and I do know a few), fear not. Despite the routine week one antics of throwing a game on unthinkable mistakes, they were a lot better than I thought they'd be. Rob Ryan had that defense playing really effectively in an exciting unpredictable way. They did however leave Dez Bryant in there way too long. Might have cost them the game.

Short of seeing the two Monday night games my early pick to win this year's Superbowl is Baltimore. Wow they schooled Pittsburgh, and no one schools Pittsburgh. I am really beginning to think that John Harbaugh is the real deal. He had them prepared and had answers for everything.

And Ted Ginn, really. Where was he in his first couple of years with the Dolphins? Today he did more for San Fran then he did in his whole tenure with the Fins. Jerk.

Entourage Finale

If you have PVR'd tonight's show please do not read this until after you have seen it.

I know that the majority of fans will not like the finale, but after just having seen it and given it some thought, I'm quite OK with it. No great surprise, we got what we expected. A world that is falling apart for all the characters, yet behold the boys pull out a happy ending. Granted there were plenty of moments that asked us to suspend our belief, but on a whole the characters run their gamete of malfunction and make the necessary sacrifices to get their happy payoff.

But if you were expecting something else, something more realistic, then you were clearly watching the wrong show for years. I think what attracted us all to the mystique of the show originally was the derived voyeur satisfaction of feeling we as the viewer were a part of the behind the scenes life of a star's entourage. And maybe the struggles that they faced was the writers' way to keep us hooked. We all secretly knew they were going to fight their way out of every mess. It was a journey of the blessed.

That aside, I do get the feeling that we are going to see the franchise evolve into feature films as the die hards will certainly provide the necessary demand. Also does anyone else think that the last scene after the credits, point to Ari getting his own show? Comments?