Brief comments on film by Amy (unless otherwise noted).
Some old, some new. Domestic films and foreign too.
Reds: Such a great movie that it left me wondering “What did they put in Warren Beatty’s Kool-Aid to entice him to make “classics” like Dick Tracy and Bugsy? I don’t agree with the politics per se but some of the political discussions are priceless.
Expelled: I liked that this movie didn’t take itself too seriously and found both the interviewees and the science fascinating. I never thought I would feel like standing up and applauding a bunch of biologists. Take that, Richard Dawkins.
Prince Caspian: We had a countdown for this movie to be released in our house and were by no means disappointed. Sure, Susan wears a little too much eye liner and I thought the boys would crawl under their seats when she got a little smooch at the end, but for the most part it was true to the spirit of the book and provided great discussion for days to come.
Knocked Up: You aren’t going to believe me, but I actually suggested this one to my mom and dad based on someone else’s recommendation. Oops. At times funny but ultimately sad in its message of half-hearted commitments and shallow view of love. If I ever remember who told me it had a “positive family message,” they’ll be hearing from my lawyer.
Juno: I can see why this was so well received by the masses. It has a distinct atmosphere a la Wes Anderson but about half way through it felt more like an Easter egg, pretty on the outside but hollow inside. Full of witty repartee, ultimately I felt manipulated and unconvinced. Great soundtrack though.
The Last Samurai: Besides the fact that Tom Cruise unfortunately appears throughout the whole film, often speaking Japanese, it was great. Jim and I actually held a contest to see who could predict the most scenes and even then, the filmmakers exceeded our expectations. Bad, bad, bad.
There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men: Though I wanted to dismiss both of these as unsatisfying and just plain frustrating, I couldn’t get them off my mind which tells me there is probably more there than I can digest in one sitting. Kind of like one of those combo meals from Denny’s. I mean, seriously, does anyone need a slice of grilled honey ham, two bacon strips, two sausage links and two eggs, plus hash browns or grits and choice of bread? Unlike Denny’s, however, Jim and I both plan to go back and revisit these two.
Soooo… No country for old men was interesting for both Jon and I. It caused very very strong feelings, dread, fascination, horror, a completely integrated experience with a movie. Somehow they entered into complete depravity without sugar coating it, causing us to keep watching it and interacting with, while all the time wanting to shield our eyes and block out ears. Neither Jon and I knew exactly what to do with it.
I also found No Country for Old Men peculiar. Well filmed and acted (I guess). I couldn’t take my eyes off it (like a car wreck), but I wasn’t sure what the movie was all about until I remembered that the Coen brothers usually have a comedic aspect so their movies, from Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski through Fargo and O Brother. In many ways, No Country is similar to Blood Simple and Miller’s Crossing — bad people doing bad things with a straight-faced tongue-in-cheek twist. I loved the conversation with the wife toward the end of the film when she says, “You don’t have to do this” (about him killing her) and the killer says, “Everybody says that — that you don’t have to do this.”