Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro – 2006) A

Captain Vidal here has to be one of the most evil and entriguing characters. He is so real and played with such conviction that it gives me chills just thinking of him sowing his ripped cheek! The rest of this fairytale is very well made too and the images and scenes just blend with such ease and beauty.

Jarhead (Sam Mendes – 2005) A

It reminded me very much of Buffalo Soldiers¬†only the guys in this war are not having as much fun, making as much money or even killing anyone. Jake Gyllenhaal does a great job playing the young soldier who is both bored and way in over his head in Desert Storm. Jamie Foxx’s is also fantastic here. The real attraction here is some of the most amazing Desert Storm imagery I’ve seen (the shimmering desert, the burning oil fields) all set to a very good musical score. This is certainly not a war movie, not much killing or fighting is going on, but it is a movie about a group of young guys in a dessert waiting for their piece of the action.

Everything is Illuminated (Liev Schreiber – 2004) B+

A quirky film that had me smiling through the first hour before it took a turn into a field of sunflowers. That beautiful scene is where this light quirky comedy (the potato routine was one of the best) turned into a somber somewhat sad drama.

A History Of Violence (David Cronenberg – 2005) B+

It took a while for this one to sink in, I was honestly going to give it a lower rating but then what seemed like a film missing an ending or a purpose made sense. It is all there, maybe not a neat package but it is there and I could not stop thinking about it. Also, the performances by Harris and Hurt are quiet sensational.