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The Messenger - DVD Review
Woody Harrelson is a human litmus test for what the ravages of war can do to an individual.
The Messenger is a movie that defies a conventional critique as the movie unspools in a manner that feels more real than it does made up, more visceral than it does imagined. While Kevin Bacon’s turn in Taking Chance was a heartfelt swan song to one human’s life who died for his country, The Messenger is grittier in its portrayal of a man tasked with delivering the news no family member wants to get about their fallen soldier.
It’s grittier and more immediate thanks to the liberating decisions made by first time director Oren Moverman. The
Avatar (20th Century Fox) James Cameron beat his own title as box office champ, set with Titanic over a decade ago, with this eye-popping sci-fi epic about a paraplegic Marine name Sully (Sam Worthington), who takes the form of an “avatar,” or virtual being, to go undercover on the planet Pandora, attempting to infiltrate the native Na’vi to gather intelligence that will aid a joint corporate and military operation to rape the planet of its natural resources, destroying its indigenous population in the process. When Sully suddenly “goes native,” he locks horns with the company CEO (Giovanni Ribisi) and his gung-ho commanding officer (Stephen Lang, in a wonderful, scenery-chewing turn from a long-underrated actor). Thought of by many scholars and film buffs as a “game-changer” as much as the first Star Wars film was—and they may be right. While Cameron’s politically-correct
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