Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mongol, The Foot Fist Way, Kitt Kitredge

I've been meaning to write reviews for all three of these films for the past couple weeks and simply have never gotten around to it.  While I believe that each movie deserves a fair shake, sometimes I just get behind and the only way to catch up is to suck it up and offer you bite size reviews instead.  Here, then, are three films in limited release that I've had the opportunity to check out.

Mongol  -  Unlike many sword-&-sandal epics, Sergei Bodrov's biography of Genghis Khan's early years lives and dies by it's quiet moments between characters, not its noisy action sequences.  The film owes a lot to movies like Braveheart, but with some truly gorgeous cinematography and subtle portrayals of the film's major characters, Mongol proves to be the best of it's kind in years.  4 stars (****) out of five.

The Foot Fist Way  -  An ultra-low budget comedy about a North Carolina Tae Kwon Do instructor (Danny McBride) who is the epitome of the idiot-manchild that Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell play so well (or not, depending on your view).  It'd be easy to compare The Foot Fist Way to Napoleon Dynamite, but this film is considerably angrier in it's outlook and not nearly as subtle in it's execution.  A funny character study if nothing else.  3 stars (***) out of five.

Kitt Kitredge: An American Girl  -  A film very particular in playing to it's audience, preteen girls, yet at the same time not all that terrible for anyone else.  Abigail Breslin does well as the title American girl, but the rest of the children here aren't anything special.  Also, the adults here seem to know exactly who they're playing to.  It's a simple, idealized version of the 1930s, but then not really one that warrants scrutiny.  Not a bad movie, but definitely not for everyone.  3.5 stars (***1/2) out of five.

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