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Buffalo's This Week in Movies, January 15th, 2010; Lovely Bones, Youth in Revolt, Daybreakers

Posted: Jan 16, 2010


I never had a chance to read Alice Sebold's best-selling novel (yet) but my wife did a few years ago and she was really excited about seeing the film. After seeing it today I understood why.

The story concerns a young girl - Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) who is murdered by a serial killer at age 14 and watches down from Heaven as her family tries to cope with their loss. Her dad is hell bent on finding his daughter’s killer with the help of a detective (The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli)

The film is loaded with talent including Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and Oscar winners and nominees in the cast, including Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg and Saoirse Ronan.

The film vacillates between the darkness surrounding the girl’s murder and the beauty of the “in between” between Heaven and Earth.

Stanley Tucci (Julie & Julia) turns in an Oscar caliber performance as the murderer. His creepy factor falls somewhere between Heath Ledger’s Joker and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter. It's rare that an actor gets inside my head, but Tucci did it. His breathy weirdness even cropped up in my dream world last night. Spooky.

I thought the movie was simply excellent all the way around. A “five star” movie.



Superbad's Michael Cera once again plays Michael Cera, which is okay because we all love that character. He falls in love during a vacation trip with his mother and step father and of course, loses his virginity - again.

The film is an adaptation of C.D. Payne's first book in a series of best-selling novels starring Nick Twisp, a sexually charged 14-year-old whose intelligence and hormones get him into all sorts of adventures.

The cast is full of comedic talent, including M. Emmet Walsh, Fred Willard, Justin “I’m a MAC” Long, Rooney Mara, Adhir Kalyan, Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Jean Smart and an old favorite of mine, Mary Kay Place (remember her as Loretta Hagers on the old Mary Hartman TV series?) She plays the religious fanatic mother of Portia Doubleday, a beautiful young lady who is destined to be the next big thing. You heard it here first.

The addition of various animation segments and great music only serve to make Youth in Revolt a truly fun movie. I say four stars.



Ethan Hawke stars in a strange tale of a futuristic Earth (oddly enough set less than ten years from now. What?) populated entirely by vampires, and the efforts made by the creatures to ensure that their food supply doesn't run out as humans are faced with extinction.

While Hawke tries to create a blood substitute , the vampire plague has turned most of the planet's human population into bloodsucking ghouls. A resourceful team of vampires sets out to capture and farm every remaining humans and extend the food supply.

Willem Dafoe steals the show in an otherwise sorta lame movie as Elvis, a cross bow wielding vampire killer with a big secret of his own that could end up ‘curing” all the vampires and returning them to their human form.

Sound like fun? Well, it ain't. With all the vampire movies and television shows and books to compare to, Daybreakers kinda sucks. I’ll give it two stars for Dafoe.

- Michael Buffalo Smith

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Avatar says...

I kind of disagree Buffster. I thought Daybreakers was brilliant! Best movie I have seen in a while. But that's just me.

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