Billy Gray

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page


In Movie Reviews on July 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm

2010 is shaping up to be the year of two parallel, inverse cinematic developments: the fall of the blockbuster and the rise of mumblecore.

Traditional multiplex fare like Robin Hood, Sex and the City 2, Prince of Persia, The A-Team, Jonah Hex and Knight and Day bombed, some of them cataclysmically. Indie-minded and microscopically-budgeted movies like Greenberg and, now, Cyrus won’t make as much money in their entire runs as those big budget failures did in their opening weekends. Still, the healthy financial and solid critical successes of these little guys (starring some big names) denote mumblecore’s move from art house, or even IFC, screens and Film Comment pages to the major leagues.

Cyrus comes from writers-directors Jay and Mark Duplass, two of mumblecore’s earliest and most influential practitioners. (The regrettably named movement goes further than other indies in eschewing big studio gloss and genre tropes with movies so barebones and modest in scale, setting, plot and dialogue as to make prime Sundance-era material—from sex, lies and videotape to, gulp, Spitfire Grill—look like exercises in Heaven’s Gate-level bombast. Read the rest of this entry »