Friday, August 16, 2013

<i>Kick-Ass 2</i>'s Troubling Morality, Violence

Posted by on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 1:43 PM

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Aint Them Bodies Saints David Lowery Caey Affleck Rooney Mara
Ain't Them Bodies Saints: Given that Casey Affleck has starred in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and now Ain't Them Bodies Saints, do you think it eats him up that Terrence Malick has upped his productivity but still cast his brother Ben, not Casey, in To the Wonder? Especially given that his Saints costar Rooney Mara is in one of Malick's supposedly upcoming films? I feel like David Gordon Green should at least throw Affleck a bone or something. In the meantime, we have some perfectly decent imitation Malick—a possibly unfair yet unavoidable description of Saints, which is set in some hard-to-identify past version of Texas (no cell phones, old-looking cars, no mention of the exact year; very easy, in other words, to assume it's set either around the time of Badlands or around the time of the release of Badlands) as jailed outlaw Bob (Affleck) escapes from prison (offscreen) and heads back to meet his lover Ruth (Mara) and the daughter he's never met. So it's sort of an inversion of Badlands, with the outlaws going home and staying put, respectively, rather than heading on the lam (ok, Bob is on the lam, but the movie for the most part is structured as even less of a thriller than Badlands is). Like a Malick movie, it's beautifully acted and shot—and if anything, even duskier than a Malick magic-hour special! It's also a touch dull, because it's primarily a movie about waiting around. But writer-director David Lowery may turn out to be worth waiting around for.

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