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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #552 (Vol. 11, No. 43). This edition is for the week of October 18--24, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Hereafter"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats


MOVIE REVIEW
"Hereafter"  by Mike Smith
LA FLORIDIANA
It's Halloween In Florida, Part Two  by William Moriaty
RETRORAMA
Friday the 13th: The Legacy - Part 1  by ED Tucker
FANGRRL
BOOK REVIEW: Rapture by Thomas Tessier  by Lisa Scherer
THE ASIAN APERTURE
Oldboy  by Jason Fetters
MIKE'S RANT
Mr And Mrs C. .... Don And Cosmo Back On The Big Screen .... Apologize To This .... This Just In .... Just In Time For Halloween .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Warner Brothers     
Starring: Matt Damon, Cecile De France and Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 9 mins


Hollywood has been fascinated with the after-life for as long as I can remember. And of course, there are rules. If you’ve been a good person, you come back as Warren Beatty (“Heaven Can Wait”). If you’ve been bad, you get swept away to unbearable horror by a group of black meanies (goodbye Tony Goldwyn in “Ghost”). Now it’s Clint Eastwood’s turn to share his vision in the outstanding drama “Hereafter.”

While on beautiful, beach-front holiday with her lover/boss Didier (Thierry Neuvic), French television reporter Marie (De France) spends the day leisurely shopping at the local bazaar. As she hears a roaring sound behind her she turns to find herself face to face with a 30 foot wave, caused by the tsunami that has just hit the island. Trying her best to stay above water, she is swept through the streets until she is finally pulled under, her last thoughts filled with shadowy images and bright lights.

In San Francisco, George Lonegan (Damon) is angry with his brother, Billy (Jay Mohr). It seems Billy has brought a potential business client home to show off George’s skill. Due to a childhood illness, George has developed a way to correspond with dead. Meanwhile, in London, twin brothers Jason and Marcus (Frankie and George McLaren) are doing their best to cope with a mother who drinks too much and doesn’t recognize their love for her. If only something can be done.

Filmed with a master’s eye, “Hereafter” continues the streak of outstanding films directed by Clint Eastwood. As in previous films, including “Mystic River” and “Million Dollar Baby,” Eastwood focuses more on the human aspect of his story, letting his actors progress the film at a leisurely pace. And pacing is quite important when you tell a story that takes place simultaneously on two different continents. Another carryover from those other films is an outstanding cast, led by Damon, who gives a powerful performance as a man who sees his abilities not as a gift but as a curse. Though he once exploited it, with the prodding of his brother, George can no longer involve himself in other people’s misery. He also can not have a relationship because, whenever he touches anyone, he gets an image of those they’ve lost. Great performances are also given by De France and the brothers McLaren. As George’s possible love interest, Howard also delivers, though she disappears in the middle of the picture.

The production values are outstanding as well, with Eastwood and his long time cinematographer Tom Stern, who has been on Eastwood’s crew in some capacity since 1982’s “Honkytonk Man,” capturing the beauty of each city. The music, also by Eastwood, is not overbearing, which is usually the problem in films that deal with the hereafter. The script, by Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) is strongly written, with no false notes. And though you don’t usually expect great visual effects in an Eastwood directed drama, the opening tsunami scene is breathtaking. As for Eastwood’s vision of what awaits us when we die...you’ll have to see for yourself.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Hereafter”  


To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. This week's movie review of "Hereafter" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.