Brian Lafferty

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: MATT DAMON, DIRECTOR PAUL GREENGRASS IN THE ZONE WITH "GREEN ZONE"

 

By Brian Lafferty

March 14, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Green Zone is relentlessly exciting from beginning to end. We know there never were weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq, which was the primary reason we went to war. We know what the outcome will be in the end, that there’s no turning back and we’re in it for the long haul, WMDs or not. Despite this common knowledge, screenwriter Brian Helgeland manages to incorporate a mystery that keeps us guessing until the very end in addition to exciting action sequences.

 


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ON THE SILVER SCREEN: “SHUTTER ISLAND” IS AN ATMOSPHERIC, EFFECTIVE THRILLER

 

By Brian Lafferty

February 23, 2010 (San Diego's East County)-- Shutter Island, the newest feature by director Martin Scorsese, is mesmerizing. It is unlike any Scorsese movie and I’ve seen them all. Originally set to be released back in October, the studio pushed it to February 19. I can tell you without hesitation the wait was worth it.


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ON THE SILVER SCREEN: AS A REVENGE MOVIE, “EDGE OF DARKNESS” COMES UP SHORT

 

By Brian Lafferty

February 8, 2010 (San Diego)--The first scene of Edge of Darkness is a home movie featuring a little girl at the beach. This little girl is the daughter of a Boston Detective (Mel Gibson) who grows up to be a trainee at a corporation specializing in handling nuclear waste. Within the first five minutes, Gibson’s daughter comes home, gets sick, then is shot to death and dies in Gibson’s arms. After learning who was behind his daughter’s murder, he swears revenge against the evil corporation.


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ON THE SILVER SCREEN: “THE LOVELY BONES” OVERCOMES ROUGH START, BUOYED BY CONVINCING PERFORMANCES

 

 By Brian Lafferty

January 31, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Lovely Bones is a movie that had me sitting on the fence the entire time I was watching it, right down to the end credits. This was a film where it isn’t as easy as yes or no in terms of recommending it and strong arguments can be made from either side.


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ON THE SILVER SCREEN: HEATH LEDGER’S SWAN SONG, “DOCTOR PARNASSUS,” A VISUALLY SUMPTUOUS, WELL-ACTED TREAT

 

By Brian Lafferty

January 12, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--While watching The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus I could not help but remember a film with elements similar to it. That film would be The City of Lost Children, a 1995 French film co-directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) and Marc Caro. Like The City of Lost Children, Doctor Parnassus contains eccentric characters (in both physical appearance and personality), lush cinematography and set design, and an interesting narrative that is barely coherent yet rewarding at the same time. I loved it.


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ON THE SILVER SCREEN: “INVICTUS” IS ROUSING, WELL-WRITTEN, AND WELL-ACTED

By Brian Lafferty

December 21, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--Invictus is a movie that brought out a lot of the fan in me. It is a feel good film that had me cheering. It is one of the most rousing films of the year.

The movie begins with the release of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) after decades of imprisonment. Through sometimes shocking and powerful real news footage, which includes riots, we see Mandela winning the South African presidency against all odds. This news footage is real from 1994, but in Forrest Gump style Morgan Freeman is digitally, and seamlessly, inserted in the real Mandela’s place. It wasn’t even five minutes in and I was starting to cheer for him to succeed.


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ON THE SILVER SCREEN: "PRECIOUS" AGGRESSIVELY BLEAK BUT VERY REWARDING

 



By Brian Lafferty

December 5, 2009 (San Diego's East County) -- Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) is one of the most strong-willed characters I have seen in a long time. She’s pregnant, at sixteen, with her second child by her father. Her mother (Mo'Nique) is both physically and psychologically abusive, calling her mean names and always bringing her down. She’s illiterate. She’s harassed at school and on the street. She enrolls in an alternative school and the other students are initially mean-spirited. In her mind, the world is unfair and cruel, with very few people on her side.


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