By the time you read this, the 2010 edition of the Atlanta Film Festival will be winding down. Today is the final day, with a full schedule of films, then the week wraps up Friday night with the Drive-By Truckers shindig.
For the next eight days, the Atlanta Film Festival offers movie lovers a veritable paradise - more than 100 films that celebrate local talent, discover voices from around the world and frequently defy categorization.
For decades, Hollywood stuck to a predictable calendar. Studios released family fare and their better-genre pictures during fall, offered their award winners for our consideration in the winter, dumped their losers and specialty pics each spring, and unleashed their tent-pole blockbusters every summer.
"Repo Men" is an "interesting" movie in the same way the "Bodies" exhibition (the one with human cadavers variously posed) is "interesting" art. Is this good art? Bad art? Is it art at all? Answers to these questions vary widely, but no one can deny that it's "interesting."
Director Paul Greengrass teamed up with Matt Damon for two of the past decade's best action films, "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum." Those movies achieved something rare by both satisfying critics and scoring huge at the box office.
"Alice in Wonderland" constitutes a meeting of three long-established, distinctive brands. Disney produces, Tim Burton directs and Lewis Carroll provides the story. It's the sort of pedigreed project that generates excitement and high expectations. Which means someone's going to be disappointed.
"Shutter Island" is set in 1954, during postwar years in which the economy boomed, WWII veterans struggled to cope with unimaginable trauma and psychological theory and practice started to creep into the American consciousness.
Remember when Mel Gibson was just a plain old movie star? Gibson made his mark as a charming, sometimes goofy/sometimes glowering action star, and we liked him. But then came preachy Mel, then drunk anti-Semitic Mel, then adulterous yet somehow still devout Catholic Mel.
Imagine if Archie Bunker were a world-renowned biochemist. That's basically the character Harrison Ford plays in "Extraordinary Measures," and he brings much needed comic relief to an otherwise fairly somber movie.