Sorry about not updating Friday, I had planned to do something about the Oscars, but then I realized that any awards show that would completely pass over King of Kong for even a nomination in best documentary doesn't deserve any sort of write-up. I am watching the show as I'm writing this, but it's pretty much because there's really nothing else on (and because John Stewart can make just about anything tolerable).
Before I get onto today's main topic, though I did not get around to seeing Be Kind Rewind, but there are 2 other worthwhile movies I did check out. Charlie Bartlett certainly has some issues, and I'm not just talking about the film's protagonist. It's a mostly clever concept somewhat tainted by almost completely collapsing into ridiculousness in the final third of the film. But it is amusing and charming and star Anton Yelchin puts on a great performance that is very worth paying good money to see.
The other film just came out on DVD and I highly recommend renting it ASAP. Gone Baby Gone certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster. Quickly fading movie star Ben Affleck, who hasn't directed a feature film before, directing a movie with THAT title (certainly doesn't sound like a serious drama), and casting his younger, mostly untested brother, Casey, in the starring role. What we get instead is easily one of the best dramas I've seen in quite awhile. Masterfully crafted with great performances by everybody, Gone Baby Gone is a fantastic mystery thriller about those real grey areas that fall in-between right and wrong, without falling into the preachy, melodramatic & predictable traps that so many films that try for the same ideal fall into. I've always believed Ben Affleck was a talented guy who just made some bad (ok, REALLY BAD) choices in scripts. It turns out his best work may be behind the camera, so hopefully with this great film under his belt, we'll get to see more from him.
In case you haven't heard by now, EA, obviously threatened by the creation of uber-publisher Activision-Blizzard, has tried to acquire GTA publisher Take Two. Now Take Two did reject the offer, but only because they think the offer will be significantly higher after GTA IV comes out, so it only seems like a matter of time; and the 2 billion (that's right, BILLION) initial offering makes the Bioware/Pandemic buyout seem like small time stuff. Now, most will decry this as sure ruination of the GTA franchise, but there is one thing that gives me a little hope. John Riticello, head of EA has apparently noticed the declining scores on sites like metacritic, and isn;t happy about it. He's actually even promised to do something to increase those scores. Granted, that could end up being an empty promise, but given that companies these days do things like get critics fired for giving a bad review, someone at Riticello's level actually even brining up poor scores and making a promise to try and improve those is something noteworthy, and hopefully that is exactly what acquiring talent like Bioware, Pandemic & Take Two is going towards.
FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Music in Motion