Benjamin Bratt stars in an intimate character study masquerading as a Latino family drama.
La Mission, which screened at the USA Film Festival on Wednesday night before opening in select area theaters today, is the type of subtle and nuanced piece that falls short of greatness but still provides worthwhile viewing. Much of the credit goes to Peter Bratt, the star’s brother, who wrote, directed and co-produced with Benjamin. The narrative unfolds at a relaxed pace, and director Bratt allows individual scenes to breathe deeply without rushing into the emotions.
Shorn of its political subtext and played broadly for laughs, The Losers emerges as breezy, populist entertainment.
Judging from the first 12 issues, the source material was not some deep philosophical fount. (That’s as much as I’ve read of the 32-issue series, published by Vertigo from 2003-2006.) Writer Andy Diggle structured the book as a series of self-contained missions undertaken by the former members of a special teams force. But what missions! As illustrated, for the most part, by the single-named artist Jock, the pages burst with energy and play very much as Diggle intended: a “man crush love letter to Shane Black,” the screenwriter of Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
“With new things becoming old in months instead of years, I just want to slow things down a bit.”
George’s speech and manner make him seem like someone from a different era; that he works as a librarian but spends his days cataloging things that are obsolete might make him seem like a kook. George is as committed to his “Encyclopedia of Obsolete Things” as someone else might be to writing poetry or maintaining a garden. Like George, writer/director Diane Bell’s Obselidia meanders quietly, but with a purpose, and ultimately provides a sweetly endearing look at a man who believes “love is obsolete” even though it seems fair to say he’s never experienced it.
The 2010 Dallas International Film Festival got off to a rousing start as the Angelika Dallas center was host to multiple showcases (and a few celebrities, too). Some of the night’s screenings went off without a hitch (see below), while others hit technical snags: apparently both screen and projection issues marred the presentation of Bill Cunningham New York. But happy faces and free booze can wear down the hardest hearts, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.