I'm going to put my movie reviews here. Steve can put his wherever he wants as long as it's not here.
This was also lent to me by Deirdre. I loved it. It made me cry, a lot. It's the story of an Irish family coming to America in search of a better life and an escape from their past. The father wants to be an actor so New York seemed like the place to go. They move into a run down building in a bad neighborhood. They have very little money. They face poverty and hardship. Despite the bad things that happen, the ending is hopeful and realistic. The set decoration was really nice. I wouldn't mind having such a funky interesting apartment, although I'd rather not live in New York to get it. The acting was really great, even from the children. The script was interesting and well written, even if the story it tells is as old as America itself.
Kill Bill, vol 1
Borrowed this from my friend Deirdre. I was not impressed. Nor did I expect to be impressed. I am not really a fan of Quentin Tarantino. I found Kill Bill to be like a cartoon version of a bad kung fu movie, only it wasn't a cartoon (except for that part that was) and rather than being an homage to bad kung fu it seemed to me to be a joke at bad kung fu's expense. The story was unnecessarily convoluted by not showing the events chronologically. This device of playing with time did nothing to enhance or disguise the tired plot. Even shown mixed up as it was, I had no trouble figuring it out. I was not expecting the ending's surprise twist but by that point I was so bored I didn't care any more. I may watch the second "volume" if someone lends it to me but I won't be making any effort to see it.
The Bourne Identity
This is one of my favorite movies. I just had to buy it last weekend before the release of the second one. Especially after reading the book by Robert Ludlum. Although they did sort of forget half the plot when they made the movie, they still made an excellent film. The brilliance of the story is the contrast between who Jason Bourne was in his forgotten past and who he is finding himself to be in his present. The assistance and companionship he gets from Marie serve to further show his humanity which is juxtaposed with the deadly impersonal flashbacks and memories he can't quite remember. Matt Damon is fantastic as the confused, yet determined (and buff) Jason Bourne and Franka Potente is wonderful as the terrified at first, then really just concerned Marie. But maybe my favorite parts of this movie are the fight scenes and the car chases, although I can barely bring myself to watch them speed the wrong way on the Paris motorway. Maybe that Mini should have fallen apart halfway down that flight of stairs but it's the movies so I don't care. And the fights. Everyone says the pen is mightier than the sword but who else has taken it literally. The fact that Jason is searching for information, but every clue must be dragged from the bloody lips of his assailants, makes each fight scene more intrinsic to the story. While many people are killed in this movie, I would hardly say the violence is gratuitous. This is a great action movie with just enough mystery thrown in. You'll be rooting for the good guy, or is he the bad guy? until the very end.
I love this movie. It makes me cry. The juxtapositioning of coal mining with ballet is a slice of real life. The cast is great, especially the little boy who plays Billy and his friend Michael. Now that I know a little more about the coal miners strike and Margaret Thatcher, the whole culture clash aspect of the movie is so much more evident. I got it before with the whole "not son of mine does ballet" stuff but now I understand even better that Billy's family is working class and that there is no place for high arts. I enthusiastically recommend this movie, but watch out... it's sad.
Who doesn't like this movie? We watched it again in Maine with Steve's brother. It's a great story and a great cast. So funny. I love it.
Okay. The premise: In that lawsuit where the two obese teens sued MacDonald's for their weight problems, the Judge said something about the teens proving that MacDonald's food is not healthy when eaten every day. So this documentary filmmaker decided to find out just how bad it is. The McDiet. For one month, he would eat nothing except what is on the menu at MacDonalds for three meals a day. He got three doctors to monitor his health and he enlisted a nutritionist and a personal trainer to help out as well. At the start, he was a really healthy guy. Very low body fat, good height to weight ratio, good cholesterol and blood pressure and all that internal stuff. By the end... well, you should see the movie. It's a really good documentary. He started off with the basic idea of eating at Micky D's for one month and he filled it in with lots of really startling information about eating in America. He talked about all kinds of stuff, from the Double Big Gulp, to Gastric Bypass Surgery to School Lunches to Government Lobbyists. It was highly informative. The only thing he didn't really talk about was socio-economic causes of obesity. But it was a very good movie despite that and everyone should see it. It'll make you think twice about what you eat. For more information see the website.
The Bourne Supremacy
Did you think, after the above review of the Bourne Identity, that I hadn't been to see the second Bourne movie already? I dragged Steve to it as soon as I could. It was very good. Matt Damon makes a great second appearance as Jason Bourne, fighting again for his life against unknown attackers. Only this time he thinks he knows who's after him. Unfortunately, he's only half right. I wasn't too thrilled by the hand-held camera action they had going on during fight scenes and car chases. It made it hard to follow the action, to keep track of who was where. And the "adaptation" wasn't as good either. The story was much simpler and I found myself not caring as much about the characters after the opening scene. Jason Bourne was much less plagued by an unremembered past for most of the movie; I could hardly tell what he was thinking or feeling or if he was thinking or feeling much of anything. Except sadness. I could definitely tell that he was very sad and determined. I still wholeheartely recommend this movie. It was exciting and suspenseful like any good hollywood action movie should be although it lost most of the mystery that really set the first movie apart. And, of course, Matt Damon is very convincing (buff). I'm going to go read the book now.
The Stepford Wives
Not so much scary this time around, was it? Although, Christopher Walken is always a little bit intimidating. I laughed all the way through it. Nicole Kidman and Glenn Close were really great in their roles as cynical wife and perfect wife, respectively. It wasn't so much a sci-fi thriller as I think the original was. It was more of a comedy. I guess that what you should expect from Frank Oz, the voice of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Bert, Cookie Monster, Animal, Grover and of course, Yoda, who directed it. Oh and Bette Midler was priceless when she said something about writing "Big Jew" in 10 foot high letters on her front lawn in pine cones. That was a nice touch. And Glenn Close's reaction was perfect. Anyway, I guess I'm saying it's a good movie and you should see it if you haven't already.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Yay!! Harry Potter movie!! I liked it very much. (much better than the previous movie, anyway.) I thought the acting was much better and the directing was better too. I'm glad I knew going in that they had purposefully left out a lot of stuff from the book. That way I was prepared for it. They did manage to put together a coherent story with what they left in. I didn't much like the some of the cg graphics, specifically Harry's Patronus and the Werewolf but other than that I the sets and graphics a lot. I felt a little more of the story could have been included had they skipped some of the more artistic shots but it was a pretty movie and I did like it. I'll make Steve rent it for me in a couple of months so I can watch it again.
This movie was pretty good. The acting, of course, was great. Just what you expect from Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon. The direction was good and it was really fun to see so many places I recognized in Boston. What I didn't like so much was just the story. I guess it's just not my kind of story. I was really disappointed by the end. The twist was too much for me. My sense of justice was offended I guess.
Now you start to see why Vladimir gets his own section of movie reviews. My God. Rutger Hauer and Mimi Rodgers. It's a bizarro prison break movie. Why did we watch it? Because Vladimir lent it to Steve. Why did he do that? Because he felt like it. Bad action, bad dialogue, bad clothes, bad hair. What was good about this movie? Why is it in Vladimir's personal collection. I really have no idea. But if you're looking for a bad prison break movie, this is an excellent choice.
John Turturro stars in this insanely mixed up ganster movie. It's about one simple man and the strange life he lives. There are small time bookies, an art thief, a young kid and his mother. There's the bet that can't go wrong, oh! and the dirty cop who's brother killed himself over some gambling debts. Amy Brenneman is interesting as the cop's pregnant wife but on the whole this movie is just rather nuts.
I had never heard of this movie when Vladimir lent it to Steve. Starring Shirley MacLaine as the movie star wife of a movie director, it's essential a love story. The director husband goes to Japan to make a movie version of Madame Butterfly. The movie star wife wants to be in it but the husband doesn't want her to be. It's a problem of male insecurity, really. The husband doesn't like living off his wife's success so he wants to make this movie without her. Not knowing how her husband really feels, the movie star goes to Japan and dresses up like a geisha to audition for the title role. She gets the part and spends the rest of the movie trying to keep her true identity a secret from the rest of the cast and crew. The end is great. I don't want to give anything away but I really liked the end of the movie. In the end, the love between the main characters is sorely tested and yet survives. I really liked this movie because it shows a real relationship between married people.