Yes, Role Models is the “big” release on DVD today (read Mr. Sparkle’s original review of the film), but today also marks the release of several small independent films from last year including a film good enough to make Mr. Sparkle’s top ten of 2008, our pal Eric from Scene-Stealers’ list of top ten movies of 2008 as well as my list of the best movies of last year:
Let the Right One In is a bit of an oxymoron – it’s a good vampire flick. More than that it’s simply a damn fine film which you want to make sure you see before the proposed Americanized version hits theaters. Read the original review.
Other small films out this week include:
Rachel Getting Married – Anne Hathaway shines in the Oscar-nominated lead performance of this tale of a troubled young woman dealing with past mistakes and drug addiction who goes home for her sister’s wedding. Director Jonathan Demme’s choice to film the project as a documentary gives the film a unique feel. One of my best films of 2008; read the original review.
Milk – Gus Van Sant’s look at the life of Harvey Milk won Sean Penn an Oscar, and even if I have issues with how it dealt (or rather didn’t deal) with the events surrounding his death it’s still an easy recommendation. Read the original review.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – Although filled with some rather obvious logical issues (the film was based on the children’s book by the same name), this tale of the son of a Nazi SS officer who befriends a young Jewish boy kept the the nearby “farm” has its moments and does a fine job of presenting the confusion of a child in dealing with larger issues he cannot come to grips with. Read the original review.
Synecdoche, New York – Although I felt Charlie Kaufman’s latest was too self-indulgent (even for him!) our pal Eric fell in love with this tale of a theater director (Philip Seymour Hoffman) spending years creating a play inspired by his own life.
Cadillac Records – I was pretty mixed on this film showcasing the rise of Chess Records. Although there are some nice performances here the film itself is a rather bland collection of events set to music. It’s not a film I’d recommend, but fans of Beyonce, music of the 50’s, or movie biopics in general, may find something worth watching here. Read the original review.