Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Movies of 2013, Crime, pt5

Mud, or "Talented child actors?  The hell is this?"
Overall: 9/10
Oh for the halcyon days of McConaughey being in nothing but shit.
            Perhaps the most misleading trailer I have seen since they jokingly recut "Game of Thrones" as a romantic comedy.
            Kind of dripping with visual personality, especially Matthew McConaughey.  The whole movie explores with subtly this small southern town, how complex family dynamics can be, romance, crime... This movie has depth and pacing and is really cool.  There are clever things that show you exactly where the characters are and what they do.  Characters have clever little ideas, like in one scene kids are trying to find a lady in a motel, so they go door to door selling fish so nobody knows that they were there looking for her, that is a simple and clever little plan.
            I don't know why this is so hard to do, but I am giving this movie credit for just being clear and explaining itself well.  Why is that something that deserves an accolade?  Just the idea that a character has a cool name, "Neck Bone", and when he meets someone new they compliment him on his cool name.  You would compliment a kid named Neck Bone, cause that sounds hardcore.  But in a way you have to give credit when a movie does that (some movies... *cough* "Mortal Instruments" *cough* can't do the simple task of just having the characters talking civilly about what the hell is happening).
            The teenage actors act and talk like teenagers, Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland deserve credit in that regard.  Reese Witherspoon plays an emotionally destructive cock tease well, and Michael Shannon plays a nice and laid back guy (complete opposite of General Zod) showing his range of being curious but not having the gall to actually question the kid he is responsible for.

Prisoners, or "I actually did not call the ending.  Good job movie."
Overall: 10/10
There is a thing with Mazes in this movie.
            This is my movie of the year.  It has the look and feel of a David Fincher movie, with a dark and oppressive atmosphere and a plot that unfolds to tension and more mystery rather than just tidy little answers.  It makes good use of foreshadowing, has visual motifs, and themes about cycles of violence and acting with certainty on imperfect information.
            Everyone involved does an excellent job with their parts, and they have a lot of visual personality, you can tell things about them just from a glance and listening to them enriches their characters rather than just confirming what you can tell from looking at them.  Gyllenhaal had a hard time growing up and enforces rules in his adult life, Jackman had a hard time growing up and commits to the ideas of self reliance.  The ending is also really good, with a good bit of ambiguity as to what will ultimately happen.
            There are things in it, like police procedure, that are not by-the-book, and from your personal perspective that would make them more real or less real.  I just thought it just got the story moving well and having everything play out in a not-wholly-procedural-not-wholly-loose-cannon way made things a little more dynamic.  I also can't say the movie was fun, it is about missing children, torture, and murder, it is a less boring "Zodiac" not "Sherlock".

            If you like the HBO series, "True Detective" then watch this movie.

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