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Blue Valentine

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman, Faith Wladyka

31 December
Blue Valentine

Apparently, we are supposed to gauge our interest in this unknown indie effort based on the fact that it won the Chrysler Film Project award for its supposedly sensational screenplay. The casting is also promising, with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in the lead. But some reviews have pointed out that director Derek Cianfrance’s dark take on the material, plus the already overdone subgenre of marriage on the rocks movies dooms any broader appeal. Also troubling is the chronologically inexact narrative logic which sees us jumping around back and forth between the sweet introductions and the proposed bitter endings. Intriguing, but not necessarily high on the “Must See” list for 2010.


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The Debt

Director: John Madden
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ciarán Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington

31 December
The Debt

British director John Madden tries to recuperate after the less than successful triumvirate of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Proof, and Killshot to reclaim his Shakespeare in Love reputation with this international thriller. Dame Mirren is an ex-Mossad agent who must come out of retirement to investigate the claims of a Nazi War criminal she supposedly tracked in the ‘60s. With its intriguing premise and acting presence, this could be a thoroughly engaging experience. Madden, on the other hand, doesn’t exactly fill a film fan with that much aesthetic confidence. Even his Oscar winner has come under major scrutiny in the 12 years since it stole Saving Private Ryan‘s fire. 

Since deciding to employ his underdeveloped muse muscles over five years ago, Bill has been a significant staff member and writer for three of the Web's most influential websites: DVD Talk, DVD Verdict and, of course, PopMatters. He also has expanded his own web presence with Bill a place where he further explores creative options. It is here where you can learn of his love of Swindon's own XTC, skim a few chapters of his terrifying tome in the making, The Big Book of Evil, and hear samples from the cassette albums he created in his college music studio, The Scream Room.

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