Saturday, September 02, 2006
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.