David Thomson on Films: 'The Way Back'
December 28, 2010
It is 1940, somewhere in Soviet-occupied Poland. A Pole is being interrogated; he has been beaten. Then a woman is called in, his wife; some torture has degraded her. She informs on her man; he will be sent to a gulag. The horror is clear, but the feeling is everyday and commonplace.
The Worst Cinematic Trend Of The Year
December 02, 2008
When Ed Harris decided that producing, directing, and starring in Appaloosa wasn't enough for him, and he needed to co-write and sing the movie's theme song ("You'll Never Leave My Heart") over the credits, it was a painful, but endurable, event. The song includes lyrics such as these (he's referring, rather ungallantly, to co-star Renee Zellweger's character) Being scared and lonely, acting so darn looseScrewin' who you want to and believing you're excused and Harris's singing voice might be charitably described as unmemorable.
March 22, 2006
Violence is scary. Violence is sexy. Violence is wrong. Violence is righteous. Violence is a problem. Violence is the solution. Befitting its title, David Cronenberg's film A History of Violence comprises all these definitions and more. Just released on video, the film opens with a pulpy paean to small-town murderousness, as two drifters check out of a dusty, rural motel. The air of lazy depravity is palpable; bad acts are hinted at--"I had a little trouble with the maid," one man tells the other--before they are revealed.