Tag Archives: Mark Strong

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

More and more the template for a spy film is “action first, story later–if at all.” This has mostly to do with the new opportunities provided by technology, but it also says something about contemporary audiences. Old school spy stories are intended to be convoluted, meandering whodunits, and vagueness doesn’t sit well with modern viewers, myself included. That said, anybody who puts Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy next to, for instance, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol will quickly come to appreciate the nuanced origins of the spy thriller. Tinker Tailor–Tomas Alfredson‘s follow-up to the critically successful and successfully recycled for American audiences Let the Right One In--is moody and stylish, recalling the lost art of skillful ambiguity.

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Green Lantern (2011)

You know what the worst part about having to write this review is? It’s that I was fully prepared to enjoy Green Lantern, despite the problems I was certain would be present. Any reviewer who tells you they approach every movie in the same way is lying, and movies like this one-movies with the clear intention of selling popcorn and building franchises-don’t come with high expectations. Which is why about two minutes into the film I found myself, not just annoyed that I spent eleven bucks on a ticket to a crap movie, but incensed at the abysmal execution of this big, green mess. Nearly every last choice made in Green Lantern is a bad one, and even aside from the technical stumbling, the film just isn’t much fun. No, “Director” Martin Campbell has done nothing here worth any praise. Certainly the effects work is good, but I’m giving the computer geeks credit for that.

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Kick-Ass (2010)

After Ebert’s less than enthusiastic review of Matthew Vaughn‘s Kick-Ass, I was both anxious and a little nervous to see the film.  I like Roger Ebert, and I respect his opinion.  It wasn’t luck that brought him to the status of Senior Film Critic in Chief.  But I read the books, and I loved them, and I loved them for the things that Ebert found so disturbing.  The absurdity and the violence.  The pure extremism of this entire scenario, and Mark Millar‘s through line that somehow keeps the thing from going too far.  It follows then that I should like the movie, with the two interpretations arriving so near one another, and Millar Executive Producing.  But there is a difference.  A few in fact, and it’s these differences that, on occasion, distort Kick-Ass the movie from silly entertainment into something dramatic, and intense, and on occasion, not particularly fun to watch.

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