Damian Jewan Lee

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George Washington Review


Excellent
What astonishes is not that George Washington is a good film, it's that the movie can tell such a powerful and complicated story in just 89 minutes. Its length is a telling reminder that length does not equal gravity. In fact, thinking over the last year or so of 2 1/2-hour-plus epics that never got around to saying much of anything, I'm inclined to believe that the opposite is true.

Recalling Days of Heaven and Sling Blade, George Washington takes us on a tour of the Deep South, centering on a preteen African-American named George (Richardson, not Washington -- played by Donald Holden), a boy whose skull bones have never fully developed. With his soft head, he wears a helmet wherever he goes and isn't allowed to go swimming, as the water would in some way soak into his brain, causing extreme pain.

Continue reading: George Washington Review

Undertow Review


OK

If I were to choose the single greatest American directorial debut of the last ten years, David Gordon Green's "George Washington" would be very near the top of the list. This extraordinarily lyrical film unfolded its odd, wonderful moments with a near complete disregard for plot mechanics. Green's second film, "All the Real Girls," included many of the same disconnected moments, but they were now spattered into a story about a womanizer who falls in love for the first time.

His third film, "Undertow," continues in the same vein as his latter effort. It still has the good stuff, but now it's steeped in a rudimentary, even ludicrous, plot. It plays like nothing more than an exceedingly well-written "Friday the 13th" sequel.

"Undertow" tells the story of a Southern family: a soft-spoken father, John (Dermot Mulroney), a troublesome older boy, Chris (Jamie Bell), and a sickly younger boy, Tim (Devon Alan); their mother has long ago passed on. When John's brother Deel (Josh Lucas) turns up on their doorstep, fresh from prison, John invites him to stay. It turns out that the menacing Deel is really after a case of gold coins that their father once collected. He stops at nothing to get them, not even killing his own brother and stalking the two boys across hill and dale.

Continue reading: Undertow Review

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Damian Jewan Lee Movies

George Washington Movie Review

George Washington Movie Review

What astonishes is not that George Washington is a good film, it's that the movie...

Undertow Movie Review

Undertow Movie Review

If I were to choose the single greatest American directorial debut of the last ten...

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