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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer and Others on DVD Tomorrow

"Outta my way, pointless supporting character."

Finally, a group of DVD's worth spending some money on! It's been a while since a stock of good films was put out on shelves at the same time as one another, so tomorrow is a day in which we can rejoice. A Grisham novel on steroids in The Lincoln Lawyer, a haunted house thriller in the same vein as Poltergeist in Insidious, and the foreign drama that stirred up emotions all over the country - Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.  

So, let's take a look at each, shall we? I don't have to tell you which is worth your money. They all are. 

More after the cut--

The Lincoln Lawyer - This is a film that exists purely because nothing else was coming out, I think. And everyone knows Matthew McConaughey is at his best in the courtroom. Thankfully, the director paid enough attention to McConaughey's underrated and brilliant performance in A Time to Kill; he displayed a sense of humanity he's only had the chance to a couple other times (Contact, or Tropic Thunder, etc.) Here, though, in what might be his best, most mature work to date, he offers an almost parodied version of himself, played with all seriousness. He's slimy, off-putting, and greasy. More importantly, he's exactly what he needs to be internally; it's a masterful performance from an actor with so much more to offer than he's ever given the chance to. The story follows a trial lawyer who operates from the back of his green Lincoln sedan, and is called upon to defend a rapist in a murder trial. The film doesn't so much follow his moral questioning or any of that, but more the mystery as to why this all happened. There's evidence, and then there's everything else. Excellent film. 

Insidious - This is a film that I enjoy more and more the chances I have to view it, or write/talk about it. There's such a sense of film history ingrained into it, it's hard to ignore that James Wan respects his "horror elders", and that's in almost every frame. I think, maybe, I was a bit too hard on the film in my initial review, but there are a few points that still stand. As is indicative of James Wan films, the end becomes a bit unhinged from the reality of the first hour or so, but still -- he knows how to scare an audience. The film focuses on a family who experiences tragedy when their young son slips into a coma for months, and the house becomes infiltrated by demons. Not even moving houses will get rid of it. Of course, like I said, the reasoning behind it becomes a bit ridiculous, but it grew on me after a couple of rewatches. And, honestly, the demon as portrayed in the film - despite looking like Darth Maul -- is terrifying. And the film's use of Tiny Tim's 'Tiptoe Through the Tulips' is genius. Will it win any Oscars? God, no. But, is it one of the slickest horror films in recent memory? Absolutely. 

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - I haven't sat down to experience this film yet, but from what I'm told, that's exactly what this film is - an experience. You don't simply watch Uncle Boonmee, you live it for a couple of hours. The film discusses, majorly, the cause and effect of reincarnation, and does so through Boonmee, who is dying of complications with his kidney. So, his long lost wife appears to him as some sort of ghostly figure, taking care of him, while his son appears to him in a non-human life form. We understand life through Boonmee's eyes, and are given a new outlook on our own lives. This film, unfortunately, is one of those that slipped through the cracks. But, now that it's out on DVD, I can grab it and finally experience life vicariously through Uncle Boonmee. And I'll be honest, I can't wait. 

There you have it, filmgoers. Go get a movie. You've a long week ahead of you. Any of these three would serve you well. The Lincoln Lawyer if you're in the mood for a smooth, smart legal thriller. Insidious if you're in the mood to have the shit scared out of you. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives if you're feeling a bit introspective about things.