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Film Talks opened in:  2010

Oscar 2010: Best Picture Roundup   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — February 25, 2010

All ten of the 2010 Oscar Best Picture nominees are worth seeing, but for some, I recommend watching them only for specific reasons or under certain conditions. Three rise above the lot as particularly excellent films — …more »»

127 Hours (2010)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — December 1, 2010

127 Hours is an intense but important film. As basically a one-man show (with flashbacks involving additional characters), it provides an in-depth exploration of a person left alone with …more »»

Avatar (2009)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — January 15, 2010

To a large degree, the environmental morality play contained in Avatar is painted in broad and simple strokes. Still, there is something compelling in the film’s embodiment of connection to and respect for the land. …more »»

Batman Begins (2005)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — January 17, 2010

Batman Begins is an superb example of what excellent screenwriting and directing can do for a familiar story. Batman can easily be (and has been) produced with simple action and black-and-white morality. Christopher Nolan …more »»

Batman Begins (2005)   
(After viewing)

by Randy Heffner — January 17, 2010

Watching Batman Begins, seeing Bruce Wayne’s internal struggle to find the right response to evil, and seeing the contrast with Ducard’s definition of justice, I want to find a clearer and better response to the offenses …more »»

Black Swan (2010)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — December 19, 2010

Black Swan is dark, difficult, nuanced, intense, and strong. Searching the performer’s heart, the film finds joy and confusion, confidence and fear, passion and reserve, freedom and bondage, competitiveness and timidness. At the same time, Black Swan …more »»

The Blind Side (2009)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — February 20, 2010

As a true story, the strength of The Blind Side is that it could have been embellished oh so much, but it was not. I suspect that no film adaptation of a true story is ever 100% factual, and I expect that’s the case …more »»

Bullets Over Broadway (1994)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — June 7, 2010

Smart, funny, satirical, and engaging in its exploration of art and artists, Bullets Over Broadway is an excellent piece of work by director Woody Allen. Centering around the funding, preparation, and staging of a Broadway play, the film …more »»

District 9 (2009)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — February 19, 2010

District 9 finds a compassionate — and violent — angle from which to explore shallow and ugly prejudice. As it pits the supposed goodness and wisdom of “the authorities” against the supposed brainlessness and vulgarity of …more »»

The Doorpost Film Project (2010)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — April 28, 2010

The Doorpost Film Project runs an annual short film competition. For 2010, it’s in three rounds. Based on their first round submissions, 21 filmmakers were selected to compete in the second round. Each of the 21 submits a script, five of which are chosen to …more »»

An Education (2009)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — February 8, 2010

Funny, clever, poignant, painful, and redemptive, An Education puts us in the position of a teenage British school girl finding direction in life. If being serious about life is important, where is the place …more »»

The Fighter (2010)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — December 28, 2010

While it’s true that The Fighter tells a familiar sounding story — boxer overcomes odds — still it finds important underexplored territory. Mixing scenes of trust, betrayal, family pressure, family pride, manipulation, forgiveness, fear, failure, …more »»

The Ghost Writer (2010)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — November 25, 2010

As an entertaining mystery flick, The Ghost Writer has some things going for it — government intrigue, mysterious figures, hidden back-stories, etc. — but I didn’t find it to really …more »»

Grace is Gone (2007)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — May 12, 2010

It is superficial to say that it’s heart-wrenching to lose a loved one in war — that is, unless you can say it the way that Grace is Gone says it. In the film, we live through a father’s shock at the death of Grace, his wife and the mother of his two preteen daughters. Why, you may well ask, …more »»

The Hurt Locker (2009)   
(Before viewing)

by Randy Heffner — February 17, 2010

Three quite different men; three different experiences of war. The Hurt Locker takes us inside a fictional Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team — a bomb squad — in Iraq. I can understand complaints from …more »»