"I can't become king if someone else already sits on the throne."

In a belated attempt to see more of the best movies of 2007 (as ranked by critics anyway) we rented four movies yesterday in preparation for a lazy cinematic weekend. We watched two last night, and they were both great.

Eastern Promises (imdb | rotten tomatoes) won the top prize at this year’s TIFF, and was mentioned as a worthy follow-up to A History Of Violence. The hype was right; while it started off a teensy bit slow for my tastes, it quickly tightened up into an angry fist of a movie. Viggo Mortensen was just amazing, as usual, and while Naomi Watts seemed rather underused, I’d prefer that to artificially inflating her part to meet her star power. A little too violent for me to recommend to some people, but an excellent film overall.

Once (imdb | rotten tomatoes) is the kind of film that restores your faith in…well, a lot of things. The “musical” genre. Filmmaking as a whole. Even friendship and love. It was made for $100,000 yet packed more emotional punch than any movie made for 100 times as much. More than half the film was music, but it was so unlike a typical musical simply because the music was part of the movie, not just a random melodic interlude. The relationship between the two leads fills and crushes your heart at the same time. If you’re the kind of person who only sees the latest Jerry Bruckheimer / Michael Bay fireworks show, you should avoid this; you won’t recognize it for the brilliant piece of art that it is.

[tags]eastern promises, once[/tags]

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