Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Still Catching up on Movies

Not sure why I feel I have to do this, but I do want to record movies I've seen here -- I suspect I've forgotten a few, but here's my last effort to get up to date:

If you have eight-year old nieces visiting, you could do worse than watching Inkheart and Definitely, Maybe -- get them to think about connections between the two movies and see if they come up with the role of stories, as mine did. . . . And then if you have two decent movies in your viewing history, you'll be able to tolerate Legally Blondes (or they'll give you credit for watching the first two and let you slip away during the third). It's not that bad, just very predictable, and there's no redeeming Reese Witherspoon or Luke Wilson.

On the plane to London we watched The Reader -- I'm not sure why I had resisted 'til that point -- probably because I find that books or movies pointing out the moral complexity of judgements about the Third Reich and the Holocaust, etc., sometimes elicit a bit of a "No Shit, Sherlock" response, sorry -- but I'm glad I became a captive audience. Well worth watching. Redeeming but not in a mawkish way. Skirts but doesn't descend into sentimentality.

In Birmingham way back in June, we saw Star Trek. This is more Pater's kind of movie than mine, but I very much enjoyed it for what it was -- entertaining, clever, well-acted, and, perhaps above all, funny, especially for anyone with any familiarity at all with the series. Leonard Nimoy was perfect in that classic role of Spock, and Simon Pegg as the young Scotty -- brilliantly cast, brilliantly acted.

Also entertaining but much more recently-viewed, the latest Harry Potter movie. If I only had time and the books were here rather than at my son's, I'd zip through them again for a few weeks' escape -- as it is, there are so many movie-like scenes in my head from the books that I can't tell what I've seen and what I've imagined, who's died already and who has yet to. I will never tire of watching Alan Rickman in these movies. Ditto Maggie Smith (is it really 40 years since I saw her in Miss Jean Brodie? -- I find that as astounding as all the fuss about Woodstock, 40 years past)

Vicky Christina Barcelona -- Scarlett for him, Javier for me, some gorgeous scenery, much drama . . . what's not to like?
The same weekend, we tried to watch another Woody Allen-directed movie, Cassandra's Dream, and couldn't finish it. Yes, good acting, yes well-directed, but trademark-Allen, the tension gets stretched toooo, tooo close to the breaking point. Reminds me of all those soccer games I watched as a mom, from the sidelines -- too much tension, too little release.
Tension, release, tension, release -- certainly enough of that in the Luc Besson-directed Taken, featuring Liam Neeson. If credibility has any importance for you at all, this is not your movie -- it's laugh-out-loud in-credible (as in NOT credible, not as in fantastically good!). The man's a one-man army; the body count is in the decades before the movie's halfway done. To say nothing of how or why those Albanian gangsters in Paris speak such fluent English! But did I mention it features Liam Neeson? We weren't bored, we were entertained, if incredulous, and all those shots of Paris . . .
Last weekend, we watched the subtitled French movie, The Class, and would both happily recommend it -- set in Paris, in a working-class neighbourhood with a high-proportion of "visible minority, FSL students" (I think the 20th arr.)
I'm sure sometime tonight I'll remember some other movie that I haven't yet posted about, but for now I feel better with the update. Any comments about any of these, please chime in. . .


  1. 40 years since Miss Jean Brodie? I can't believe that either.

  2. Après lui, starring Catherine Deneuve. She's in about every scene. A woman becomes obsessed with her son's best friend... there's a lot more to it but don't want to spoil plot. Almost unbearably sad at the beginning, Camille is understood by no one, and acts in sometimes inexplicable and disturbing ways. Not a feel good movie; a tour de force for Deneuve.

    Am I the only person on the planet who did not enjoy Vicky, Christy? Found the characters too shallow to care what happened.

  3. And you find time to watch movies too? There must be something totally wrong with me... But, I manage to keep my household in order ;)!

  4. Vicky Christina Barcelona is one of my favorite Woody Allen's film. It seems to be a bit of a morality tale. I like how Allen refuses to say which way of loving is better. No one path is a guaranteer of happiness. Well, that is what I took from it.

    I also loved his new one with Larry David. I can't think of the title. I think it is called "Whatever Works". Larry David makes a great Woody Allen.

  5. You should get hazard pay for watching "Legally Blondes." :P


  6. I felt the same as you about watching 'The Reader' but when Andrew brought it home one night, I found myself more engrossed than I expected ... And thanks for the reminder about Inkheart - I know my younger one will love it!

  7. you know, it had been...i think 8 years since i had seen a movie in a theater, until i went recently.
    i made sure to pick a somewhat rundown theater so that i would not go into complete culture shock at the changes in the movie-going experience since i last participated.

  8. Lesley: And Maggie still looks marvellous!
    Duchesse: I love watching Deneuve so will be sure to pick this up soon. As for VCB, I don't know that I ever watch Woody Allen movies for characters. I must admit that bringing home anything with young Miss J. in it ratchets up the points in my account with Pater instantly and considerably!
    Metscan: See, I often ignore household order in favour of movie-watching -- all kinds of things wrong with me! ;-)
    LBR: Were you able to manage Cassandra's Dream? I'd be curious to know what you think. Pater and I found it too slow for the tension -- you know things will go terribly wrong and it's unbearable to watch. Acting was great, interesting characters and premise, etc., but just couldn't do it. Felt something the same way about Matchpoint but not so bad and the payoff came more quickly.
    Enc: Oh, it was bad! But almost worth it to watch my twin nieces arrive at the same conclusion, especially since I'd set them up by starting with the "better" movies.
    Tiffany: And I think adults would enjoy Inkheart as well, at least for watching alongside a shorter person. I'm keen now to track down the books.

  9. Up/Down: Much of our viewing is done at home although we get to the cinema when we're in our Vanc'r apt. In Paris this past spring, our hotelier, Jennifer, was mock-outraged that we'd never gone to see a film in a Paris cinema and dragged us out on a Friday evening -- lovely red plush seats, an attentive, non-popcorn-noshing audience, people who knew enough to watch the final credits roll to find out who the gaffer and the best boy were . . .

  10. Taken made my soul hurt. I'm sure you've seen it, but Julie and Julia, or Julia and Julie...either way, BRILLIANT.

  11. Taken-what an appalling film, an aged man with twice the strength of Mr Bourne. I don't think so, and yes I too marvel at his supernatural ability to communicate so effectively with so many nationalities!
    Vicky-Christina- loved it too
    Star Trek- exhausting
    The Reader- not bad, but the book is brilliant.
    I too have caught up with some good films, my next choice is The Wrestler. Sadly zilch on at the cinema.

  12. You are far more current in your movie watching than I. I shall add some of these to my queue, but considering I am running about 3 or 4 years behind it may be a while.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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