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Let Me In (Overture Films)

1. I have to admit, I was nervous going into this one because I love the original (John Ajvide Lindqvist’s “Let The Right One In”) so much. Imagine my surprise when I walked out of the theater not only loving this remake of the Swedish film from a few years back, but also considering that it might even be a little better than its predecessor.

2. It’s shot absolutely beautifully and it’s apparent that writer/director Matt Reeves handled every frame of the movie with extreme care and foresight. Look for any scene featuring the lead character’s mother (Cara Buono) as an example.

3. Child acting could have easily ruined this film. Instead, the kids are its strongest part. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz are completely believable as the leads, and Dylan Minnette plays a bully that audiences will love to hate.

4. The adult actors of “Let Me In” are equally as good: Elias Koteas plays a cop and Richard Jenkins plays the “father” of Chloe Moretz’s character. Both are obviously talented character actors, but it was especially great to see Jenkins play a role that’s unlike anything he’s done before.

5. The entire movie is fantastic, but there is one scene in particular that made me literally whisper “holy shit” out loud. I’m not one for spoilers but, trust me, you’ll know it when you see it. It’s a long shot of Richard Jenkins in the backseat of a car. That’s all you need to know. Now, go.

I love being proven wrong,

-Shady

“The Visitor” (Groundswell Productions)

1. It’s well thought out, wonderfully written, and fully realized conceptually, so it figures it would get the total shaft from the Golden Globes. When your “best of” list includes “The Reader” and not this movie, the validity of your picks goes completely out the window.

2. After years of being a character actor, Richard Jenkins outshines nearly every performance of any other actor being considered for an award this year. And the man appears to be able to do everything, from dark comedy (“Six Feet Under” and “Burn After Reading”) to slapstick fart humor (“Step Brothers”) to more subtle dramatic works like this. Hopefully the Oscar nominations will acknowledge Jenkins and right the wrong the Golden Globes created.

3. “The Visitor” is writer/director Thomas McCarthy’s second film! As if I weren’t already jealous of his talents, he’s also an actor on “The Wire,” and will be playing Principal Caden in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel The Lovely Bones. I hate people who are good at more than one thing! Leave something for the rest of us sad bastards!

4. The film pushes Fela Kuti. You should want to see it for that fact alone.

5. If you read this blog regularly you know my clear choice for “Best Picture” of 2008 is “Wall-E.” But that movie aside, “The Visitor” is definitely high on my list. I’d say it’s just as good as “Slumdog Millionaire” and slightly better than “The Wrestler.” It’s out on DVD now, so rent it.

RATING: Countless dialogues on race relations, immigration, and what’s truly important in life

Land of the free, home of the brown,

-Shady

Old Poop!