SF IndieFest 2013: “Be Good” and “Days of Grace”

Be Good

BG_Screen_Shot1one-star2Thanks to the cuteness factor within the myriad of scenes to which a 6-month-old steals, this mundane peek into the world of a young couple struggling with raising their first born is sure to have indie crowds everywhere – and anyone who sees it, for that matter – oohing and ahhing throughout most of this movie.  Not one to give a movie a pass based on cuteness alone, I thought this was pretty boring.

Sure,  I can appreciate a slow building character arc, like that of the stay-at-home dad’s progression from a flexible and considerate father to a selfish and remorseful jerk, but by the time the transformation took place I was too disinterested to give a damn.  Partly because of the uninspired mumblecore-ish tropes found within the acting and music, but mostly because the languid script and lack of any other message aside from that of “Woe is us, we are scared first-time middle class parents learning to adjust to our baby being the new center of the universe“.

Days of Grace

Tenoch_MG_0131(1)one-star2Mexico City; home to kidnappings, police corruption, drug cartels, shootouts, fist fights and soccer.  Everardo Valerio Gout‘s heavily score-driven operatic melodrama interweaves the Mexican drama from 3 different time periods; the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cup.  His decision for telling these three stories of those similarly effected by the dangers of inner-city Mexico in its current out-of-control violent era brought the notion – in a roundabout and often confusing way – of that endless pit of despair and hopelessness to which the country is digging into light.  I get it, Mexico City is bad news.

It’s hard to see this movie and not notice the influence that Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel) must have had.  From the toggling of the steady cam and quick cutaways of closeups to the use of music and even the color palette within the cinematography.  But like most carbon copies, you don’t have to look all that hard to see it’s a copy.  Not sure if it’s because I’m getting over being sick, or the lack of control Gout displayed while projectile vomiting his Iñárritu-esque elements all over this picture, but either way, when all was said and done, I left this movie with one hell of a headache, and a reminder that, yes, Mexico City is still bad news.

Showtimes for Be Good: (See Trailer Here)

Friday, February 8th – 7:15pm (Roxie Theatre)

Saturday, February 9th – 5:00pm (Roxie Theatre)

Wednesday, February 13th – 7:00pm (Shattuck in Berkeley)

Showtimes for Days of Grace: (See Trailer Here)

Saturday, February 16th – 7:16pm (Roxie Theatre)

Tuesday, February 19th – 9:30pm (Roxie Theatre)

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