Let the Right One In is a Swedish vampire movie, and although there's plenty of blood, it's not scary. An artsy horror film, if one considers it a horror film at all. Primarily, this is a story about loneliness centering around two 12 year-olds. Oskar gets bullied at school and Eli is a vampire whose father has to kill people to refill her blood supply. The two kids become friends and stay friends even after Eli's secret is revealed as they try to protect one another. Stark, cold, and beautiful. 4/5
Lars and the Real Girl (2007) Gillespie - Lars parents died when he was fairly young and now he's painfully awkward. He orders a sex doll online, and when it arrives he treats it as a real person (although he doesn't actually have sex with it, claiming that "Bianca" is really religious). Lars lives in a really snowy small town. His brother and sister-in-law convince him to take Bianca to the doctor, where he is really getting help from the psychologist to treat his delusions. Contrary to what one would expect from the plot synopsis or the DVD artwork, this film is not especially quirky or silly, but instead actually was quite moving for me. Ultimately I found it to be a really bizarre but great depiction of how compassionate a good church and community can be. 4/5
Short Cuts (1993) Altman - Based on a sampling of Raymond Carver stories, this film features a huge ensemble cast including Frances McDormand, Alex Trebek, Tom Waits, Lily Tomlin, Robert Downey Jr, and many more. The film is a bit scattered but connects by the intersections of a bunch of lives in Southern California. There's a medfly quarantine, a boy gets hit by a car, some fisherman discover a dead body, and an estranged husband destroys his wife's house. Easily compares to P.T. Anderson's Magnolia without as much symbolism. 4/5
We Own the Night (2007) Gray - Slim pickings at the library...A story about two brothers. One is a cop and the other manages a bar and runs with a more wild crowd. After Joe (the cop) gets shot, Bobby decides to become a police informant for drug deals. That also doesn't go so well, and causes Bobby to join the force for real . Many tough guy heart-to-hearts follow. A good looking film, but with a fairly fluffy plot. 3/5
*Will Smith is set to star in an American remake of Oldboy...no chance that will be good...
*Andrew Dominik, the New Zealand director of Assassination of Jesse James...is (slowly?) working on a new film called Cities of the Plain which will be an adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel