Monday, February 11, 2008

2007 Media Review: Amendments.

My top five needs to be reworked, because as great as The Bourne Ultimatum and Rescue Dawn were, I'll have to bump them down to "Honorable Mention" status and replace them with a pair of movies I saw this weekend: There Will Be Blood and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

What triumphs. And interesting, in that those two pictures, along with No Country for Old Men, share similar themes, in that they are elaborate character examinations of bad guys. Anton Chigurh, Daniel Plainview, Jesse James, and Robert Ford are all men with a certain amount of disdain for regular human life, though their reasons are all varied among them (click here for Entertainment Weekly's very good comparison/contrast piece on No Country and Blood).

It is a fascinating reflection of the times in which we live. And, refreshingly, all three movies are fairly free of profanity, completely free of innuendo, and relatively tame in their depictions of violence. All three pictures have shockingly violent moments, and I wouldn't recommend any of them for the under-17 crowd, but the violence is far from the sensational, buckets-of-blood variety we see in today's current glut of "horror" pictures.

These films are all an examination of deeply flawed men, and all of them, in their own way, point to a simple truth of life, namely: "Be careful what you wish for; you just may get it."

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