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Inside Job (2011) – If you’re a champion of deregulating financial markets then you’ve got a difficult position to explain.  As the world’s economic downturn winds down its third year, Inside Job gives viewers a refreshing look back into the events which lead to this epic cluster fuck of financial recklessness.  If the reasons and whys of how all this went down have gotten fuzzy, or maybe you were too pissed and/or unemployed to wrap your head around the details to begin with, Inside Job lays it all out in an even and digestible way.  It’s fascinating stuff but when you cut through all the details it’s the same bullshit behind the curtain as it always is: corrupt, uncontrollable, Herculean greed.  The destruction and subsequent aftermath of the economic sector feels like some bizarre suicide/murder ritual in which the heads of massive financial institutions knowingly slaughtered their companies and showered themselves in the blood money that came spraying out.  Trillions of dollars are gone, scores of lives are wrecked, world wide unemployment is high and will remain that way for the foreseeable future, a few people in high places have made off with mountains of loot, not one person sits behind bars and probably never will.

Hanna (2011) – Director Joe Wright has crafted a reputation for himself as a purveyor of bloodless prestige efforts. Pride & Prejudice, The Soloist, that agonizing piece of crap called Atonement.  What fun it is to learn that Mr. Wright apparently had an operation to get the stick up his ass removed.  Wright has ditched his high minded senses and directed Hanna, a Bourne inspired action movie that’s more a kooky lark than anyone imagined it could be.  Hanna may be routine on paper but it is edgy in execution.  An odd ball action fairy tale of a kind, Hanna buzzes along on a trip hop action score, courtesy of the Dust Brothers, setting a fleet footed pace for itself which while quick, never runs over the viewer.  Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett and new comer Saoirse Ronan get handed a b-grade screenplay but all turn in A efforts.  Like good action flicks they know to bring just enough to the table to make their characters tick.  Fans of sleek, mostly uncompromising, action flicks will dig this.


Meek’s Cutoff (2011) – Only film critics can use words like frustrating or slog and mean it as a term of endearment.  I am not that kind of film critic  but Meek’s Cutoff is the kind of movie that gets that kind of review.  Remote, distant and emotionally minimal, Meek’s very often left me adrift with boredom and fidgety to depart the experience.  15 minutes into it I was ready to take up jogging as an excuse to stop watching these people walk nowhere.  I held fast and endured the duration but Meek’s Cutoff never drew me in for more than a few passing moments.  Void of tension, this arid drama follows a group of pioneers as they cross the west during the middle 1900’s.  They have little clue as to where they are and become increasingly desperate for water and direction.  Allegories abound and fans of meditative cinematic experiences will love it, but most people, and I have to call me most people this time, will be stupefied at how mundane this trek is.  It’s topped off by an ending that can only be considered audaciously cryptic and unfulfilled.  Nothing like being bored to piss for 100 minutes for absolutely no tangible reason.


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