I am a shitty film blogger.
The Fountain, new from Darren Aronofsky (his last film was 2000's Requiem for a Dream) is amazing. Aronofsky ought to never wait do long to make a movie again. I loved this movie. It's a visual stunner and the imagination of Aronofsky is front and center with the movie. I know some will have trouble with the movie, but I absolutely loved it. It's not terribly intelligent or new or anything, but the techniques he uses are so wonderful and it is easily the most beautiful film of the year. Hugh Jackman is absolutely wonderful in the lead role(s). And there is a totally hot, wonderfully filmed sex scene in a bathtub. Did I mention the movie is breathtakingly gorgeous?
Ask the Dust is a competent, slow-paced movie from legendary screenwriter-turned-director Robert Towne (you know who he is. He wrote Chinatown.) It's okay. No great shakes. An Italian immigrant and a Mexican woman fall in love in 1933 Los Angeles. Some of the movie is done really, really well. Colin Farrell is very good (if far too good looking for the part) and so is Salma Hayek. The plot is rather conventional, though, and it doesn't really have much new to say. Shrug. It was good.
Half Nelson is one of myn ew favorite films from this year. I loved it. It's about a drug addicted high school teacher in an inner city neighborhood. It's a movie with very few answers and a lot of really intriguing, honest questions. The two main performances, from Ryan Gosling as the teacher and Shareeka Epps as his young student are absolutely extraordinary. Epps is a total puzzle. She is the toughest little girl you've ever seen and yet she has a smile that can make you feel like you've never seen anyone smile before. Gosling is superb, haunted. The movie is about so many things: mostly addiction, race relations and teacher-student relations. I cannot recommend it enough. I think it's the smartest movie I've seen this year. Go see it!
Blood Diamond is retarded. Skip this bullshit. It's an Edward Zwick party and it's idiotic as all Hell. I think I disliked it more than last year's Munich. Spielberg's movie was at least well-made.
Happy Feet is a total mess too, but also totally fucking fun. Penguins that dance like Savion Glover. You can't really screw that up. It's also a movie about religious fanaticism and environmental protection in the Antarctic and growing up different (gay?--I think so). I liked it quite a bit. It's very silly but totally ridiculous and therefore fun. There are even these little tiny Adélie penguins that all speak Spanish. It's hilarious.