Well, I guess HotD wasn’t karmic payback for some horrible past misdeed after all. See, last night I went and saw Mystic River and it’s a magnificent film. I figure seeing Mystic River was karmic payback for suffering through HotD. It’s probably the best movie of the year. Yes, I liked it more than Kill Bill, but it’s unfair to compare the two. If you have two hours to spare, and don’t suffer from ADD, do yourself the tremendous favour of going to see Mystic River. Sean Penn never ceases to amaze me. Every time I see him I think he can’t possibly top that performance. And the next time I see him he does. Singling out Mr. Penn in the film, however, does the rest of the cast a grave disservice — the performances are uniformly excellent. Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Laura Linney and Marcia Gay Harden … normally with a cast that excellent, I fear the movie is relying on casting (see Mars Attacks) rather than on its own merits. Fear not, Mystic River doesn’t fall victim to that problem. It’s not a nice movie. Don’t expect a sunny ending and a neat resolution. Okay, there’s a bit of a ray of sun in the ending, but for the most part it’s a bittersweet resolution. It is, however, an intelligent, thought-provoking, and visually arresting movie. Clint Eastwood lets the actors, and not flashy effects or camera cuts, speak for him. It’s old-school filmmaking, a throwback to an earlier era of Hollywood. I’d welcome more.

I’m rambling. I’ll stop now. Just go see it. Really.

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