Monday, November 22, 2010

Edge of Darkness (2010)

The other night I saw "Edge of Darkness" starring Mel Gibson.  I only knew the story a little, and wasn't too sure how I would like it.  All I knew was that it was a film about revenge. 

In Edge of Darkness Mel Gibson's characters daughter is killed right in front of him.  The entire picture is about uncovering why she was killed and by who.  detective Craven (Gibson) is a detective in the Boston police department, and after the brutal killing of his daughter he goes on a hunt for the men that killed his only daughter.

So there you have it the story in a nutshell, but what is pleasantly surprising is the feel and the performances of the films characters which really make this film something interesting to watch.  All throughout the film I was thinking of several different types of noir type films, but the one that comes closest is "DOA".  That's right the 1950 film which starred Edmond O'Brien.  It's a favorite of mine, but what "Edge of Darkness" does is bring the human element into it.  The relationship between Gibson's character and his daughter is the thing that makes the film work.  It's the one reason you keep your eyeballs glued to the screen.  We get little background into their relationship before the daughter (Bojana Novakovic) is so violently dispatched. 

But what the director (Martin Campbell) does here is pretty interesting.  We hear throughout the film the young women's voice or we see Gibson's daughter as a little girl, as he remembers certain things in their lives which are significant to him.  It is these scenes that propel Gibson's character to do what he does.  We see the hurt in Gibson's face, and for it to come out and make us the audience feel for the both of them is really something that the director should take credit for, as well as Gibson himself.   It's what humanizes the film. 

There is only one ending that this film could have, and it keeps it's noir roots intake for all that I'm concerned.  The last shot made me smile, and yeah maybe it could be considered cheesy, but I really thought it was appropriate.   The film is an interesting look at corporate and governmental abuses that crush the individual.  It makes its point well, and yet like all noirs do they have their cynical way about them.  In "Edge of Darkness" both the performances as well as the direction are all flawless, and well worth the look. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Jill Clayburgh (1944-2010)

I was surprised to hear that Jill Clayburgh had passed away.  I had just the other day thought of the film "An Unmarried Women" by Paul Mazursky.    Clayburgh's credits are extensive so I won't list them all.  Check out her IMDB credits if you wish.

I really don't know what to say here when it comes to a person who I've admired passes away.  It just feels that she had a lot more to give and was still very young.  We are at a loss for this, yet we can still see her performances in such films as; "Semi-Tough", "An Unmarried Woman", "Luna","Starting Over", "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can", and "Hanna K."

Ms Clayburgh died Friday at her home in Connecticut home at 66 after living two decades with leukemia.  She is survived by her husband (David Rabe), her children, and her brother James.

Ms Clayburgh will be missed and always known for her extraordinaire work in both the screen and the theater.