the bourne supremacy (++). as in bourne the first, the talented mr. ripley, good will hunting - say, most of matt damon's bigger roles - his emotionally-troubled-asskicker characters are most affecting in the rare moments when he's told to play vulnerable, and there aren't enough of them here. as before, the cinematography is excellent, and the culminating chase scene is satisfying and original. i like watching MD beat the crap out of people really efficiently, but those very valid beefs that propel him around the world don't register on his face very often - so why should i care?

garden state (+++1/2). ends on an emotional high note that, while technically a bit weak and unfinished, is very welcome to the twentysomethings zach braff is chronicling. little moments here - natalie portman's eulogy in her pet graveyard, the hospital meeting where she makes braff's character listen to the shins on her headphones - are exactly right, as are all of the soundtrack choices (particularly iron & wine - i hope sam beam rakes in piles of new fans as a result of this). ZB's touches of absurdism keep the big themes from plodding too heavily, and i'm willing to forgive him for the too-polished speech he delivers toward the end, as 1) the los angeles restaurant in an early scene is actually SEA, my beloved thai place in williamsburg, and 2) he actually appears to read his garden state blog. bottom line, i like watching someone my age try to make sense of himself. if he did it too well, the combination of talent and success and self-awareness would be too much; as of now i just get to be happy for him.

the village (+). so glad we saw this at the ziegfeld (c. 1927, frantically stylish theater, site of glitzy nyc movie premieres) - were it not for the elegant surroundings and the primally satisfying act of eating popcorn at 12.30 at night, i would have revolted and demanded my money back. though i didn't catch on to The Trademark Twist, i was thoroughly unfrightened and unimpressed (mind you, i used to quake in terror at the care bears movie - if you can't frighten me, you might as well retire from the movie business); the movie was visually interesting, and that's about it. the new york post ran a scathing review that roasted shyamalan's apparent persecution of the bush administration (using warning colors and indistinct threats to keep the population in line, a leader with the name 'walker' - okay, they may have a point); perhaps watching the village with that in mind would make it marginally diverting. me, i'd see fahrenheit 9/11 instead and wait for the DVD. bleh.

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