Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reviews Round Up: Dramas-The Runaways, A Prophet & Charlie St. Cloud

The Runaways

I don't know why so many people hated this movie. Sure, it has the weird grainy filming that screams the 70s, and it doesn't really get to be an indepth biopic, but I found it to be really cool. Mainly because of the performances. This must be the first good performance Kristen Stewart has done since she started the Twilight saga ruined her career. I think that has something to do with the fact that she didn't touch her hair that much. Michael Shannon, who I'll always remember for his psychotic performance in Revolutionary Road, was pretty damn fantastic (as always) as the band's promoter Kim Fowley. To me, though, the performance Dakota Fanning gave in this was simply amazing, even Oscar worthy. It was so great to see her all grown up (well, she was 15 years old in the movie...if you would call that 'grown up'), and she really went for it in this movie. Floria Sigismondi delivers an always interesting look into the lives of those who start a trend and are loved for it...even if we have seen the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll thing many times before.


A Prophet

I didn't completely understand A Prophet, the much acclaimed French thriller directed by Jacques Audiard which was beaten by The Secret in Their Eyes to the foreign film award at the Oscars. In saying that, the concept was pretty good, and it seemed to have all the narrative devices well in place. I'm sure that on a second watch, I will really get it, and it will pack a bit more of a punch. Tahar Rahim's performance in this is exceptional. He really carries the whole thing. To go with his performance is some interesting and hauting direction, which also accompanies a brilliant soundtrack. A Prophet walks over some well trodden ground, but it's pretty original and definitely stands out.


Charlie St. Cloud

Charlie St. Cloud is arguably Zac Efron's first big lead role since that Disney business, and even though the material is a little shonky, his performance can't be ignored. Based on the book The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, Efron plays the titular character who can't escape from his past as he has made a promise to his dead brother, and a girl (Amanda Crew) he knew in high school comes back into his life and threatens to break his promise. It's really meddling stuff, but I found it shamelessly entertaining. It wasn't really that bad. I'm sure girls my age and up will probably be a wreck at the end of it (I wasn't particularly moved by it). As weird as it is to see Efron as a grown up, I think he has a real future. He just maybe needs to steer away from mindless movies like this and more into the direction that Me and Orson Welles was leading him.


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