From the Archive: Hot Fuzz

This is a short one (it was originally offered as part of a set of capsule reviews), but it represents the first time I wrote about an Edgar Wright movie. In part because of the hit-and-run nature of the review, I didn’t write about his direction much. Truthfully, it wasn’t until Wright’s next film that his visual acumen and storytelling ingenuity really started to dazzle me. While I will elaborate in a few days, I’ll promptly acknowledge that I’m revisiting this particular piece because Wright has just delivered what I’m confident will shake out as one of the best films of … Continue reading From the Archive: Hot Fuzz

Top Ten Movies of 2010 — Number Ten

In adapting Bryan Lee O’Malley’s series of graphic novels following the romantic exploits of Toronto layabout Scott Pilgrim, director Edgar Wright presumably had at least six different titles to choose from. Settling on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is perfectly fitting given that the film often feels as if Wright and his collaborators have packed a planet’s worth of ideas, concepts and techniques into the finished product. O’Malley’s original work established the ethic of spectacular playfulness as it hopped around genres like a video game character soaring through a multitude of hidden realities. Wright pulls from it judiciously, but primarily … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2010 — Number Ten

Banksy, Jackson, Parker, Scorsese, Wright

The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson, 2009). So poorly conceived that it borders on tragic. Jackson and his regular collaborators adapt Alice Sebold’s acclaimed and beloved 2002 novel about a murdered teenage girl, demonstrating such a bizarre lack of empathy that whole film takes on an off-putting robotic sheen. The movie is senseless in every definition of the word, over-directed and utterly tone-deaf. The actors all seem to have stumbled in from other movies with Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci approaching satire in their broadly drawn roles, Rachel Weisz looking bored and Mark Wahlberg thoroughly perplexed. It is cluttered with garish … Continue reading Banksy, Jackson, Parker, Scorsese, Wright