Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hell and back: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

This really isn't going to be as dramatic a post as the title implies. Hell was a new film by Sidney Lumet: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. This film was reviewed by the Gazette and given a solid A. Nonetheless, I somehow knew from the brief synopsis printed with the review that it probably wasn't going to be sort of film I would enjoy. But, I was downtown last weekend, and it was only playing in the local art theater, and it did get the best review of anything in town, so . . .

Here's my take on it: Coming out of the theater, if I'd had a gun handy, I might have blown my own brains out then and there. It was that depressing. Don't get me wrong. Wonderfully acted, but OMG! I've seen depressing movies before, movies that just made me sad; but, this was the first movie I've ever seen that really made me just want to step out into the street in front of a bus. So, unless you like feeling that way, skip this one.

There was redemption before night's end though. Happily, Colorado College's Back Row, a men's a cappella group, was having their winter concert at 10 p.m. that night. I went straight from the theater to the concert hall. Redemption. Sitting in an audience filled with mostly college girls there to cheer on the guys, it wasn't possible not to smile pretty much steadily for a solid hour. The video from YouTube below is from that concert. The quality's not great, but it'll give you an idea of the atmosphere. The sound was great if you were there, but the concert was really more about showmanship than musical quality. Small hall, small crowd, and I'm guessing that better than 90% of the people there knew someone in the group. To get a better idea of how good they sounded, try going to their website and listen to the sampling there.