Montreal Film Journal

2009 LOG (2)

(1 Feb) Taken (2009, Pierre Morel) [ review ] 68

(3 Feb) Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008, Marina Zenovich)
[ Polanski is most definitely a fascinating figure, having survived the Holocaust as a child, then grown up to become an esteemed international filmmaker and a staple of the Hollwood party scene in the swingin' Sixties, only to have that dream turn into a nightmare when his beautiful movie star wife was slaughtered by the Charles Manson family... And all that happened before the event at the center of this documentary, namely Polanski having sex with a 13 year old, going through a trial that turned into a media circus and ultimately deciding to go into exile in Europe instead of being sent to jail. The case is actually much more complex and morally ambiguous than that, which makes it all the more relevant for Marina Zenovich to have made this film, which effectively combines archival footage, clips from Polanski's movies as well as new interviews with various attorneys and the victim, amongst others. Well worth a watch. ]

(4 Feb) Modernaire (workprint) (2009, Martin Laroche)

(6 Feb) Polytechnique (2009, Denis Villeneuve) [ review ] 85

(7 Feb) My Name is Bruce (2008, Bruce Campbell) 44
[ In the vein of " ¡Three Amigos!", "Tropic Thunder" and "JCVD", this film deals with a B-movie star who finds himself stuck in a scenario that seems to be out of one of his films, but it's actually real. Starring Bruce Campbell as himself, or more precisely, a trailer park dwelling, boozing, ass grabbing version of himself, "My Name is Bruce" unsurprisingly takes the form of a horror comedy, which tries really hard to catch some of that "Evil Dead" magic, but it's not even on the level of "Bubba Ho-tep". I know it was released in some theatres, but the production values are straight-to-DVD all the way, the jokes are hit and miss, and even though the special effects and horror scenes are intentionally cheesy, well... They're cheesy! Still, in spite of it all, if you're at all a fan of Bruce Campbell, you'll probably get a kick out of him making fun of himself and the many not-so-good flicks he's acted in over the years. ]

(15 Feb) The Dark Knight (2008, Christopher Nolan) [ review ] 93

(20 Feb) In Bruges (2008, Martin McDonagh) 85
[ Oooooh, how did I miss out on this one all this time? It got Colin Farrell winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy and screenplay getting nominated for an Oscar for me to finally get to it, and boy did I not regret it! If you're a fan of Tarantino and the Coen brothers -and how could you not be?-, this is an absolute must-see. The premise is rather simple: after a job gone awry, two mismatched Irish hitmen (Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) are sent to Bruges by their boss (Ralph Fiennes), to do some sightseeing and wait further instructions. What follows is at first a conventional but enjoyable odd couple comedy, then it grows more and more quirky and twisted, with outbursts of violence, hard drugs, prostitutes, some midget asshole, and surprisingly emotional moments, too. Cleverly written and sharply directed, "In Bruges" can also count on a cast of actors who are all at the top of their game; even Clémence Poésy is sexy and mysterious and funny, almost enough for me to forgive her for "La fucking Troisième fucking partie du fucking monde" (almost). ]

(23 Feb) Eastbound & Down 1.1-1.2 (2009, Jody Hill)
[ Danny McBride, man, Danny fucking McBride. This new HBO series is very "Foot Fist Way", what with Danny once again playing an arrogant, pathetic, inappropriate and foul-mouthed character, in this case a former professional ballplayer who now teaches middle-school phys ed. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay produce the show and David Gordon Green directed the second episode, but really, it's all about the McBride. ]

January / March