Films featuring
Ian McShane

We Are Marshall

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Sports films about plucky collegiate or high school underdogs overcoming the odds have become a significant sub-genre in recent years. Dating back to Hoosiers, recent examples include Glory Road and Remember the Titans. The success of that last film was the impetus for the recent spasm of similar films. The most recent member of the roster, We Are Marshall, certainly doesn’t disgrace the team, but neither does it stand out from the crowd. Eschewing flash for sound fundamentals, this movie keeps punching for four quarters.

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Nine Lives

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Nine Lives is the movie equivalent of an anthology of short stories, incorporating the tales of nine women whose lives have trapped them inside personally untenable situations. It’s also a stylistic experiment, because each story is filmed in a single, unbroken eleven to fifteen minute take. This unique approach turns each episode into a one act play. It also gives the stories an immediate, fly-on-the-wall quality that heightens the sense of reality onscreen.

The stories themselves lack any grand, life-changing arc that you expect from more conventional movies. These are moments out of nine lives (natch) captured voyeuristically. The script by writer/director Rodrigo García captures the natural rhythms of the way people talk (rather than the way movie characters talk). The characters are sharply etched portraits of largely unremarkable, but compelling people we might know, but in shoes we’re glad we’re not walking.

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