Friday, February 25, 2011

From the archives: March 2009

A month of extremes, highlighted by a long-delayed arthouse entry — The Reader having finally made its way into my neck of the country — and an uber-violent adaptation of Alan Moore's remarkably prescient Watchmen.

Kate Winslet won a well-deserved Academy Award for her chilling portrait of clueless amorality in The Reader, which leaves viewers pondering the precise nature of evil: born ... or nurtured? The story intrigues, tantalizes and horrifies by turns, and functions both as a disturbing drama and a wistful echo of films such as Summer of '42.

Watchmen also disturbs, albeit for different reasons, its grim political subtext occasionally overshadowed by truly outrageous and graphic violence. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but ample food for thought, for those who ponder the possible roots of an Orwellian society ... and whether they could germinate here.

On a much lighter note, the charmingly retro Monsters vs. Aliens opened a whole new animated franchise, with characters that proved popular enough to star in a follow-up TV special.

The rest of the month proved sadly average for late winter and early spring: a sloppy big-budget entry, a disappointing indie, a disappointing IMAX documentary and — another bright spot! — a preposterous but quite entertaining sci-fi action flick.

Step into the Wayback Machine, and check 'em out:

African Adventure: Safari in the Okavango


Echelon Conspiracy

The Great Buck Howard

Monsters vs. Aliens

Race to Witch Mountain

The Reader


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