Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

Many Movie Reviews (November 2007)

No Country For Old Men

Last week I got a chance to see No Country For Old Men at work. I didn’t know much about it going into it and I had no expectations other than it was a Coen Brothers film. There is little I can say that many reviewers before me haven’t already said. This movie is an excellent execution of cinema. I was blown away by Roger Deakins’ cinematography. It was so beautiful and felt like real life, never taking you out of the story. The acting was superb. Josh Brolin was great as a person living in West Texas. His depiction of a person living a life where he is getting by and surprised by little. His character, a Vietnam vet, behaved exactly as one would expect. Javier Bardem executed a fantastic role as the bad guy. He’s carried the perfect persona of evil but also with a sense of morals, twisted as they may be. Overall I can’t recommend this movie enough. Rating: 5/5

The Lookout

I saw The Lookout on video and I’m a bit sad I didn’t get to see it in the theater. Both Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Chris) and Jeff Daniels (Lewis) ran perfectly believable roles. The movie really sucked me in and made me care for Chris and Lewis and have sympathy for how they were flawed by exaggerating the flaws we have in ourselves. As with Brick this is a quirky kind of film that really gives an actor like Gordon-Levitt a chance to show that beyond 3rd Rock from the Sun’s comedy he can be very serious and versatile. I look forward to seeing more movies with him. The story was very engaging and real. These kinds of stories feel very simple but has so much emotional depth that it sucks you in. See it if you can, I recommend it on an HD format if possible. Rating: 4.75/5

The Devil And Daniel Johnston

I love well done documentaries. The Devil and Daniel Johnston is one of those. Daniel Johnston is a singer, songwriter, and artist. He gained a bit of notoriety in the 80s and fortunately he documented a lot of his life with audio and film. Seeing the story of Daniel move from creative genius to nervous breakdown to his current life in Waller, Texas gives a great insite into how the world sees Daniel. Sadly we can never know exactly what was going and how Daniel was seeing the world, but we can get a very good look through the hard work of the film makers. They poured over a lot of audio and footage and interviewed many people that knew and worked with Daniel to paint a very vibrant picture. Daniel has been covered by many artists. For anyone that’s even a little bit creative I highly recommend viewing The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Rating: 5/5

Helvetica

If ever there was an obsession for designers it’s typefaces. The movie Helvetica catalogs the history, usage, and current philosophies on the use of the sans-serif typeface Helvetica. Helvetica is every where you look. You probably see it and don’t realize it. It’s a clean typeface designed by the Swiss type designer Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann. The simplicity and neutrality of Helvetica allowed it to become a staple of 20th century modern design. There are people that love the type face and there are people that hate the type face. Both sides are presented well but there is a bit of a bias towards the love and positive aspects of Helvetica. I doubt this movie would be interesting to people not interested in design but it’s short enough that it won’t bore you if you try it. The extras are really cool, more of the interviews from the movie that expand on design that might not be related to Helvetica. In the movie there is only a small mention of the typeface Arial. Arial is a cheap nock-off of Helvetica that stems from Microsofts desire to not pay licensing fees to Linotype for Helvetica. If you use Arial please stop now. Just switch to Helvetica and produce better looking documents. If you want more on Helvetica vs. Arial then you can just do a Google search but here’s the easy way to spot Arial. Comic Sans too, just don’t use it. Overall, Helvetica is a great documentary that shows passion in normalcy. Design-type people should see it for sure. For non-design types it does provide hints about how designers work and think. Rating: 4.75/5