The Good Life

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Home Video Spotlight: A PROPHET, DATE NIGHT and KICK-ASS

Brief capsules on new movies worth renting, NetFlixing or illegally downloading (though we don't condone the latter).

By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic


In this brilliant, sprawling, unflinching 2009 Oscar nominee*, rising star Tahar Rahim plays a French teen who winds up in maximum security prison, only to climb the ranks as a gangster after serving the mob from behind bars. The patient development of Rahim's forced-into-it aspiring thug is some of the finest characterization you'll see this year. And, in general, "A Prophet" is one of the year's best. (Now available)

*Best Foreign Language Film


Steve Carrell and Tina Fey make a perfect team as a suburban couple in big-city trouble in "Date Night," an amusing action comedy that isn't short on laughs, but works best as a tender valentine to commitment and long-term relationships. Mark Wahlberg, Mos Def, James Franco, Mila Kunis and Taraji Henson co-star, and the movie gets a lot of giggle mileage out of the lead duo's cute in-jokes and domestic ignorance.

If you're bothered by pre-teen girls who dismember people (or by profane titles, for that matter), then the unapologetic comic-book movie "Kick-Ass" probably isn't for you. And, coolness be damned, shield your young ones from it. But if you're down for a colorful, caution-to-the-wind, exceedingly well-made good time, saddle up with this rare superior superhero film. It's a bloody blast for those who can handle it.


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