Inside Man

Inside Man. I like that you can hear the basic summary (detective vs. bank robber/hostage-taker)… but what you see is a little bit smarter and not as interested in basic genre trappings. On the other hand, it wanders when you might want a little more spark and plausibility. Ebert says it well: “It’s not that the movie is hiding something, but that when it’s revealed, it’s been left sitting too long at room temperature.”

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. This one is intense! Such a good way to close out with the original stars. It seems to have the most traditional blockbuster feel: political intrigue, betrayal, blatant emotionalism, heroes in peril, a mad dash to prevent calamity, last-minute rescues, one-liners and philosophical banter. I think this one also built up the biggest sense of dread and risk out of the series. Also a nice thematic change, rather than exploring the frontiers of space and encounters with strange beings or energy forms or whatever, they’re easing into universal civics, basically, and trying not to let their baggage screw it all up. Same director as the excellent Star Trek II… and I think this one gives it strong competition.

Beginners

Beginners. What a good, sweet movie. If you miss and/or dismiss this you’re dumb. Excellent soundtrack with old blues and standards and, much to my delight, an arrangement of the Adagio from Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor, one of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite albums of 2010. Another good movie about starting over that co-stars a charismatic dog: The Artist. The dog has the best line in the whole thing:

Tell her the darkness is about to drown us unless something drastic happens right now.