In the hope of actually giving a much more thorough trek through my recent viewings, I write mini-reviews/thoughts/etc. of those movies I just don't have the time to devote to writing up as a longer piece. Ladies and gentlement, once again, I give you an installment of "Blurbs":

I think this one gets a bad rap.  Ripley crash-lands on a prison planet that's almost part monastery.  The prisoners are all hunted down one by one by a new hybrid birthed from a rottweiler (a bull in the original and restored cuts of the film), and, not to give anything away, Ripley ends up getting impregnated by one of the nasties.  Personally, I think its themes of motherhood and religious experience are dead-on for the series, and it's a fitting end for the Ripley character - until ALIEN: RESURRECTION, which I also like, but for much different reasons.  This was also David Fincher's first film as director, although he now disowns it due to how much the studio interfered with him both in- and post-production.  The film is visually stunning, creepy, and I really like the rod puppet effects for the new Alien.

Not to be confused with the amazing television series, David Mamet's 1991 film is actually based on a novel, and actually is more about personal identity than the murder mystery (though that's a really interesting and twisty road, too).  William H. Macy and Joe Mantegna are amazing as detectives Sullivan and Gold (respectively), and the dialogue is as crisp and staccato as you might imagine.  I've written a bit about Mamet before, but this was my first trip through HOMICIDE, and I can't wait to take it again; it's a thrilling and thoroughly intriguing, very seedy and sordid trip.

A fun, action-filled take on the characters of Watson and Holmes, with plenty of chemistry to spare between Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law.  While the plot leaves a bit to be desired, it's an origin of sorts, foretelling the events to transpire in (hopefully) future installments between Watson and his main nemesis, Professor Moriarty.  The direction by Guy Ritchie is stylish and effective, and truth be told, I'm just glad he's back making movies like this and has finally moved past whatever phase possessed him to make SWEPT AWAY and REVOLVER.

A hard-hitting drama that pulls no punches in its depiction of life for the "fallen women" of Catholic Ireland in the 1960s.  Following four girls who have been placed in the care of the church, the film is a scathing indictment of the church's Protect the Weak Men Against Their Desires decree that found women who were the victims of rape, abuse and mere rumor locked away for indefinite periods of time so that they could labor their sins away.  During this time, they are abused, mocked and belittled by the nuns who are in charge, and some even get locked away in mental asylums for simply speaking the truth.  Nora-Jane Noone is great as Bernadette, and the rest of the cast is very good as well.  I've been into Irish history lately - particularly the uprisings and the split and all that, so I found this intriguing.  Worth a look.

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