Friday, December 28, 2007

Newsroom Movies

I like newsroom/ newspaper movies/ Journalism Movies -- some great ones are

Of course, All the Presidents Men
Broadcast News
, Who's the devil?
His Girl Friday, Oldie but a goodie
Zodiac, spooky but good
Shattered Glass, answers the question What if I made it up?

What else?

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

I read great reviews of The Wind that Shakes the Barley, a drama about the struggles in Ireland, directed by Ken Loach. Even though it is essentially a war movie, not usually my cup of tea, I thought I should see it and happily was completely entranced by it -- partially because of the perspective of a small community of regular folk turned terrorists by necessity -- the brutality of the British soldiers is horrifying. The other entrancing reason to watch the film is Cillian Murphy who plays Damien O'Donovon, a doctor about to go of to London when he is pulled into the conflict. This skinny blue-eyed Irishman is worth seeing the movie for, trust me on that.

On a completely lamer note, I saw The Nanny Diaries (I'll see anthing with Laura Linney) which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be with a very cute little boy whose train wreck of New York Upper East side parents are actually kinda funny and sad in how terrible of parents they are. It's a slight film overall, however.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Juno and Once

I saw Juno in the theaters a few days ago. Before going I heard a review that described the snappy dialogue as unrealistic and annoying. But you know I found it refreshing and enjoyable. Ellen Page, who plays Juno, is adorable and precocious. She is an extremely smart 16 year old who fools people into thinking that she is more mature than she actually is and then in the end we see her as a vulnerable kid. Besides the very funny lines of Juno I really enjoyed her regular girl interests -- she has a hamburger phone and wears grungy jeans with a flannel shirt. She reminds of my friends as a girl -- she's not a girly girl.

I also saw Once which I probably had unrealistic expectations of and found it not as compelling at first as I thought it would be but then by the end really appreciated the understated performances. These two musicians really acted like real people; they responded to embarrassing or sad situations like real people and they really seemed infatuated with each other. By the end, I compared Once to Juno and found it "realer" but maybe not as fun and seductive.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Hottest State

Based on an Ethan Hawke novel, and probably his own experiences, The Hottest State examines a doomed relationship between a young actor and a beautiful Latin singer (an actress I was trying to place from a previous movie the whole time). There are some whimsical moments but mainly the movie is actually kinda boring. After the singer breaks up with the insecure actor he goes bonkers and obsesses about her to the point of annoyance. Meanwhile he learns that all of his problems stem from the being rejected by father as a child. This one, I definitely could have passed on.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


So I saw SuperBad -- can you believe it. I thought I was down on teen boy humor. I guess because I like Knocked Up (but thought it was sexist like Kathryn Heigel) I thought I would like SuperBad. Sure, I got the occasional chuckle but mostly found it crude and had to even fast forward over a few parts because they were painful to watch such as super gross blood on pants scene -- I will say no more.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Old Joy

I had the movie Old Joy on my queue for some time. I put in on after reading a good review even though it did have the potential for being really dull. It's about two old friends who go on a camping trip to the Cascade Mountains -- both are Oregon liberals but one is stuck in the past and a rather pathetic pot smoker and the other has a 9-5 job, with a baby on the way who listens to public radio shows about the economy and boring stuff like that. These guys reminded me of guys I know and reveals how guys grow apart when their lives take different turns. I liked peeking into a world of how guys communicate with each other. One barely talks, avoids any confrontation, and just goes along with the pot smoker dude who is kinda a blowhard and keeps trying to reaffirm that his life is not meaningless. So there is not much plot in this movie -- it's just a glance into the lives of a couple of aging hippies. One more thing, the spot they visit in the Cascade Mountains is very cool -- the movie may be worth seeing just for that.