Jonah Hex, who first appeared in the pages of DC Comics in 1971, may not boast the same marquee value as DC colleagues Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But, after several cancellations and subsequent resurrections, the half-dead bounty hunter has found new life on the big screen, as the titular antihero of director Jimmy Hayward’s latest adventure.
Although Hex’s failure to earn a huge following in print must have tempered expectations for the movie’s box-office potential, it afforded Hayward and star Josh Brolin some creative latitude in their depiction of a hard-drinking former Confederate soldier determined to avenge the murder of his wife and child.
Don’t hate him because he’s beautiful.
So much has been made of Fish Tank star Michael Fassbender’s rugged good looks, which have earned him comparisons to a young Daniel Day-Lewis, that it might be tempting to dismiss him as just another pretty face. Yet to witness his harrowing depiction of late Irish Republican Army militant Bobby Sands in last year’s Hunger is to appreciate his dedication to craft.
With the 12th annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival taking over the Roxie for the next two weeks and The Last Station making its regional debut at the Embarcadero, it's an exciting time for Bay Area cinephiles. Here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.
Hunger is a study in cinematic minimalism, and that, finally, is what lends it such blunt force. It follows the final six weeks in the life of Irish Republican Army militant Bobby Sands, who helped organize the seven-month hunger strike that would claim his life in 1981, after 66 days. But this is not a hagiography of Sands, or a shot at British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose reaction to his passing was at best unfeeling. First-time filmmaker Steve McQueen’s quietly devastating drama is a meditation on the depths of degradation men will endure in pursuit of the respect they think they deserve.
Despite no previous acting experience, Katie Jarvis is the heart and troubled soul of Fish Tank, the gripping coming-of-age drama from Andrea Arnold and the most exciting new release in a week also highlighted by the arrival of Storm, Hans-Christian Schmid's thriller about crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian war of the early 1990s, and the on-screen return of Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness.