Saturday, September 02, 2006

Some Movies Chris Reid Has Seen Since June and Hasn’t Mentioned.

Film Strip
Originally uploaded by baldman76.
So I generally try to post a review of any movies I see, but lately I have been busy (read: lazy) and have let several films of note (and some of NOT much note) go by with nary a mention. So here is a bit of a summary that we’ll creatively call “Some Movies Chris Reid Has Seen Since June and Hasn’t Mentioned.”

Good Night and Good Luck- Watched this one on the KLM flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam on a little tiny TV on the back of the seat in front of me. Which was OK, because it’s not a big movie, though it is a VERY good one. I didn’t know anything about Edward R. Murrow, but this film was a good introduction to his role in broadcast journalism and to his belief in what television SHOULD be. Clooney is good as always, and David Strathairn gives a really solid performance. A movie worth your while.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit- Watched this one on the KLM flight going the other direction from Amsterdam to Nairobi. I’ve liked all the Wallace and Gromit shorts, but I was a little dubious as to whether they could stretch it into a full-length movie. And yes, they could. I laughed out loud at many of the jokes in this one and I would recommend it to everyone.

Failure to Launch: Dumb and formulaic romantic comedy (also an in-flight movie), but watchable, if for no other reason than I like Matthew McConaughey. I didn’t even see the end and it didn’t matter.

Firewall- Han Solo / Indiana Jones saves his family from bad guys who steal things and shoot people. I watched the whole movie without sound. Not really good, but not terrible. I like Han Solo.

Eight Below: Man must abandon his team of sled dogs to die in the cold and is wracked with guilt for it. And the dogs die…OR DO THEY?! Based on a true story, which in itself is pretty incredible. Yeah, it’s a Disney family film, but it was better than I thought it would be and not as sanitized as I anticipated. Also watched without sound. (Earphones are a pain.) But that was OK because, unlike other Disney films, these dogs couldn’t talk, so I didn’t necessarily miss much dialogue.

Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony - "Amandla" means “power.” This documentary focuses on the role of music and dance in the South African struggle against apartheid. Really well done, but I think it focused largely on the artistry and kinda skimmed over some of the violence that often accompanied the movement on the anti-apartheid side of things. Nonetheless, a very enjoyable film that brings to light a lot of cultural aspects of the struggle of which I was unaware.

The Mask of Zorro- A surprisingly fun, well acted film, with lots of fun sword-fighting and also very funny. A good action movie. Summary: Sword fight, sword fight, Catherine Zeta Jones, sword fight. ‘Nuff said.

Nacho Libre: Uh…dumb. Did I laugh? Yes I did. I think Jack Black is funny. Was it dumb in a clever way, like Napoleon Dynamite? NO. It was dumb in a “this-movie-is-dumb-and-I’m-glad-I-only-paid-two-bucks-to-see-it” dumb. Would I recommend it? I’ll put it this way: If you watch this movie, you can say that you’ve seen it. I’ll just leave it at that. I WILL say that considering Jack Black plays a monk in a Catholic monastery, there is a surprising lack of easy pot-shots about religion and a fair amount of respect for the character’s beliefs. And, of course, plenty of Jack Black in tights.

Big Night- We watched this one tonight. Really solid acting on the pat of everyone involved. Two Italian brothers in a struggling restaurant prepare a dinner in anticipation of a visit by Louis Prima. Some funny moments, some serious moments, and I will go on record and say that the final scene of the movie, in its simplicity and its subtle acting, is one of the finest scenes I have seen in a movie. Quote me on that. I really recommend this film.


wagsandpurrs said...

Didn't watching Big Night make you hungry?? I love that movie. And Stanley Tucci was on Monk this season, so there were all sorts of articles about the movie.

Reel Fanatic said...

Words can hardly express how much I love Wallace and Gromit, and I thought their first feature film was perfect, stacked with clever jokes for the young and old alike .. I had forgotten all about Amandla! .. I'll definitely have to check that one out on DVD, so thanks for the heads up!

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Izzy & I saw Big Night on the big screen years ago, and then again in just the past few weeks. The omelette at the end is one of the most redemptive meals since Babette's Feast.

St. Izzy said...

Lizzie and I own a copy of Big Night and watched it again recently. I hope you noticed that that final scene is one long shot. As I've said elsewhere, that scene includes what must be Film's most redemptive omelet.

Oh... I see tha Lizzie has beaten me to the punch. Is this great minds thinking alike, or marital minds moving along the same well-worn grooves?

Well, it's groovy to me.

(jim) Bo Ba Log said...

I love the final scene in Big Night. But as I think about that scene, one thing continually bothers me . . . Three people are going to share one egg, are you kidding me? IT WASN"T EVEN A CHEESE OMLET.

conchchowder said...

It was THREE eggs..and it wasn't wordless. "Are you hungry? I make you something..."