Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Few Films

In the last month I have seen a lot of movies. There are not a lot of entertainment options here, but the library has lots of videos, so that’s what we do here. Rather than writing out full reviews for each of these, I’m just doing the Readers Digest version…

Movies I am glad I saw
I Am Sam rated PG-13 for subject matter and one brief outburst of language. This is one of the most moving films I have ever seen. Sean Penn deserved an oscar for this performance as a mentally challenged father battling to keep custody of his daughter.
Cold Mountain rated R (if unedited) for language, violence, and sex. Based on a book, I imagine the book is fantastic! A civil war story, intriguing and well-told.
The Guardian rated PG-13 for intense scenes and language. About the coast guard rescue divers (in particular off the Alaskan coast); I have no idea if this story has any basis in truth, but it was a good film. It was predictable to some degree, but we still enjoyed it. And for once Kevin Costner didn’t stink.
Dreamgirls rated PG-13 I think. Somehow I had gotten it into my head that this was some sort of ‘documentary’ about The Supremes but that is not the case. I suppose it might be somewhat based on their story (I don’t know their story) but the movie is actually made from a broadway musical! I had no idea! There are not a whole lot of musical films made anymore, and it caught me very much by surprise. It was a great surprise, however, as it was very well done, and Jennifer Hudson ABSOLUTELY deserved her oscar for best supporting actress. It was one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.

Movies that took up hours of my life I will never see again (in other words, utter wastes of time!)
World Trade Center. I know it’s a touchy-feely subject, and it’s based on a true story, and Nicholas Cage is a great actor (really he is) but good grief, the movie is nothing special.
Ultraviolet Oh my poor brain cells. I skipped parts of it, and should have skipped the rest. There is no acting, no characters, not much plot, and a terrible script. There are a couple of scenes with cool cinematography (such as the one where the focus turns from one character to another by focusing in on their sunglasses), but that alone hardly warrants sitting through this travesty.
Memoirs of a Geisha yeah yeah yeah, based on a bestselling book, romantic and whatever…the romance is twisted (as she says, a geisha can never be a wife) and we found it altogether disturbing. I did find the DVD special feature about the hair, makeup and costuming to be fascinating…although they did take a great deal of artistic license on all counts, so it’s not very authentic.

And one which I can’t decide if I liked it or not…Georgia Rule PG-13. It had a lot of language, and dealt with some very harsh content (alcoholism and a girl who had been molested by her stepfather)…on the other hand, it had funny moments, and I think it did a good job of bringing heavy issues into public awareness. It also had some bits of Mormon culture; not disrespectful, but still somewhat amusing when contrasted with the hard lives of the other main characters.


Leah said...

I just taught the book Cold Mountain to my College Prep Juniors; they really liked it. Well, not the ending so much.

But it's full of such fantastic imagery and symbolism and I HIGHLY recommend it!

Tuan's Princess said...

I agree about Memoirs. It sounded and looked so good but was ultimately quite depressing!

I'll have to rent Cold Mountain - I am intrigued.

Mae said...

At the movie rental places I go, Georgia Rule was rated R. Funny how a movie rating is negotiable by the authorities, huh? I remember this being the case with "Meet Joe Black". It was R in some places and PG-13 in others. In fact, since it was a 2 cassette movie, one cassette was listed as R and the other was listed as PG-13. Nice, huh?

Thanks for the movie reviews! (By the way, where do you get your edited movies? I very much enjoyed "Love Actually" on TV...)

brightonwoman said...

I thought Georga Rule was PG-13 because I remember being intrigued by the previews, and thinking I'd put it on my netflix list...however, they showed it at a girls night out here, so I didn't actually see the case, so I suppose it may have been R. Come to think of it, it probably was...I would say it should have been, but I had really thought the previews said it was PG-13...

As for edited movies--TV baby!

Mae said...

Ah, TV, that medium which I don't really miss. I cancelled my cabel in May and have so much more free time on my hands! Amazing! But since I go to work everyday, I get my mental stimulation in there. When I used to teach at a day care, I definitely needed something a little more complex than, "No!! Don't touch!"

Jessica said...

Thanks for the reviews! I get a free rental at Hollywood on my birthday (tomorrow!) so this will help me pick a good movie without wasting time!

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