Sunday, April 13, 2008

Movie Movie

I love movies. I especially love going to the movies. I like the bigger screen and the way too loud sound and the dark room. I can’t fold clothes or work on the laptop or anything else but watch the movie. It is bliss. I get to do it maybe a few times a year, if I am lucky. Such is the fate of the father of small children, especially when there are no in-laws around to baby-sit.
But I still love movies, and watching the DVD will suffice. It’s the story thing really. I love the stories.
This weekend I have had a most unusual opportunity. I viewed 6 films this weekend. They were not deep. They were not artsy. They were not poigniant portrayals of the human condition. They were, however, pretty rollicking good tales. I chose them for that quality primarily.
And, as far as tales go, I am (I think I have said this before) a sucker for the heroic. So these were heavy on the lone hero going it alone against heavy odds. A few words about each.

The curious thing about this film is that the director used some kind of technique that created a sort of animation veneer over the live action. It took a little getting used to, especially in the scenes where expressions and faces and emotional reactions mattered. Fortunately, these weren’t all that important anyway. Also, I’m not English major, so that fact that it took major liberties with the original epic bothered me not one whit. I have long since accepted that a movie is not the book, even if they share the same name, characters and other accidental commonalities.
I will say that the opening battle with Grendel is terrifying. I am not one to be overly impressed or bothered by screen violence, but my jaw hung slack with amazement as I gazed horrified at the monster wreaking his havoc. Yet I loved it, because Grendel should be horrible. In the end, Beowulf betrays himself and those he loves, and the redeems his betrayal by brave deeds. Glad I saw it. Now I shall go back and read it for the third time.

The Kingdom
The FBI goes to Saudi Arabia to catch a bomber. Much hijinks ensue.
OK, that’s not fair. It’s a pretty serious picture, in the sense of solemn. It captured the one essential truth that I think many people (like 2 of our potential presidents) may not seem to realize – they really do want to kill us all. No quarter asked and none given.
Some truly outstanding scenes involving automatic weapons, rocket propelled grenades, and the old-fashioned hand thrown kind. I found myself shouting at the screen.

Live Free or Die Hard
Bruce Willis resurrects his John Mclain character. Hard not to love this guy. The fluffiest of the bunch, but still fun. My wife and I watched this one together, and we both found ourselves mocking some of the gunplay and fistfights. How many bullets are there in one clip? Am I the only one that counts them and ask out loud where they are getting their ammo? Still, fun if enjoy practicing your willing suspension of disbelief. Definitely enjoyed the abundance of tough guy one liners.

I am Legend
I remember Charlton Heston in Omega Man. For some reason some images from that movie are burned into my brain, so I really wanted to see this one. Pretty cool. I really enjoy watching Will Smith. He is just a lot of fun on screen.
Another post-apocalyptic fantasy. The “dark-seekers” were a bit overdone, but the setup and exploration of the “what-if” scenario is pretty intriguing. Smith’s character is not only a scientist and a soldier, but damn clever with his hands – I gotta give him that. To construct the kind of hideout he has put together is pretty impressive. Oh…and it’s a bit of a plot problem with some woman shows up for no other apparent reason than to advance the plot. Still…I enjoyed it.

Facing the Giants.
Watched this one with the kids. All I will say it that it is surprisingly inspiring, and it spoke strongly to me in my current situation. The acting is generally wooden, but again, if you look past that, it’s a good old fashioned David and Goliath story. That’s always worth watching if it’s even half way well done.

Mr. Magorian’s Wonder Emporium.
Ok, I actually slept through most of this one. Nothing blowing up. No guns or knives or people fighting to the death. But that Natalie Portman sure is purty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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