Friday, March 28, 2008

Into the Wild

After reading portions of Krakauer's book, Into the Wild, I have wanted to see the movie. I wondered what the quirky and abrasive Sean Penn would do with the movie. Would he edge it up and make it caustic, like him? Instead I think he sweetened it. The main character based on the real Chris McCandliss is a joyous lover of life. He reminds me of a poet friend of mine who is not the most practical fellow you'd want to meet but one who sees beauty is the smallest things and makes delightful observations. I knew the end of the movie was going to be wrenching. Actually the movie starts with the end of Chris' story and the end continues to be sprinkled throughout the movie. But when the final moments arrive it's hard to watch. Chicken Mary did a little fast forwarding -- it's true. Despite this sadness, the movie gave me the same feeling as watching Motorcycle Diaries; it made want to go on an adventure, sloughing off my worldly ways and take a bite out of the apple of life. (By the way, Chris a.k.a. Alexander Supertramp, takes an exultant bite out of an apple in the movie)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Moliere is about the great French playwright who wrote in the mid 1600s and entertained the royal court with his farces. The movie is comedic and tries to be like the farces that Moliere wrote, lots of silly coincidences and broad characters. The actor who plays Moliere is Romain Duris who is funny and expressive does hilarious impressions (check out one particularly funny one of horses); there is also something kinda sexy about Duris in a waifish guy kinda way. ((My mother thought the man who played the absurd Mr. Jourdain was a better actor.) My seven-year old nephew, who can't even really read the subtitles, thought the movie was funny, "I liked the part where that guy fell off the horse." My mother really enjoyed it a lot and said that when we heard Moliere's farcical comments we all laughed. Also she enjoyed the cinematography, the movie is set in beautiful and grand rooms and includes incredible scenery.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dan in Real Life

Set in Cheese Ball, USA, an idyllic cabin on a lake where loving families play games, put on a talent show, do family aerobics on the lawn, and of course, play a family game of touch football, Dan in Real Life shows the father of 3 girls, two of whom are ultra-snotty teens, who is visiting his parents and happens upon his brother's girlfriend (he doesn't know it at the time) and falls for her. Well, of course, the woman is Juliette Binoche, I mean come on who wouldn't fall for Juliette Binoche. I guess I'm just disappointed that a movie with the charming Steve Carell and one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Binoche, is just so mediocre. There's nothing worse than a movie that has tons of potential but falls flat.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Holly visits and we watch 3 movies

Margot at the Wedding by the same dude who did the Squid and the Whale was not as tight and funny as the Squid and the Whale but included a bitchy lead character to match the father Squid. Nicole Kidman's Margot was deliciously mean and Jack Black was goofy and kinda funny. Holly thought, "This is the weirdest movie I have ever seen."

We also went to the theater to see The Other Boleyn Girl. Holly thought,"The Scarlett role was played too nice and it didn't go coincide with the book and took away from the sisterly tension that was in the book." But overall, Holly liked it. Mary, who had just finished season I of the Showtime Tudors, found it not as compelling as that series about King Henry VIII, but enjoyed the ever cute Natalie Portman in the role as Anne and found her a better Anne than in the series. Both stories are a bit too soap operish, however.

Two Days in Paris was our last movie viewing of the weekend. Two Days in Paris was written, acted, and produced by Julie Delpy and examines the detioration and possible renewal of a two year relationship while visiting Paris. The actor Adam Goldberg played a Woody Allenish neurotic and paranoid lover to the beautiful and oversexed Julie Delpy. The parents, Julie Delpy's real parents by the way, were pretty funny but super odd. Worth seeing? Holly says, "It's mediocre but worth seeing." Mary watches all independent movies especially if they involve Paris so she says Yes, worth seeing.

Side note: all films involved a dead slaughtered and bloody pig. This, however, was merely a coincidence, but odd since Holly just gave up pork a few weeks ago for being grossed out by the thought of eating pigs. These scenes affirmed her decision.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Elizabeth, The Golden Age

It's hard to understand why Elizabeth, the Golden Age falls flat. It has all the elements of a great movie: stunning visuals, costumes and scenes, a fantastic actress in Cate Blanchett, a great story, a studly dude Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh. Still, it's just kind of boring. I loved the first Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett -- she's such a great Elizabeth. So where did it go wrong?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

This is the first movie I have scene with Casey Affleck (with the exception of a small role in Good Will Hunting) and who knew he was such a good actor. He's very watchable and real. I guess I am surprised since I find his brother Ben such a mediocre actor. Gone Baby Gone is based on a Dennis Lehane novel, who also wrote Mystic River, and bad actor Ben directs. Who knew? He can direct. The most interesting aspect of the movie, I think, is the crisis of conscience that the Casey Affleck's character struggles with. He feels guilty and talks about shame and remorse and tries to do the right thing when the right thing is difficult to ascertain.