Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ramblin' Reviews

I'm throwing my hat into the ring my own version of movie reviews. I tend to ramble so instead of summarizing the film, I've linked to the IMDB summary of the film for those interested.

Films for me come in a couple of categories:

Wednesday: Watch with care, pay attention
Friday: Relax, enjoy, have a beer or a martini

About a month ago I watched Army of Shadows (L'armee des ombres) the 1969 film by Jean-Pierre Melville that describes the daily life of those in the resistance during World War 2. At first, I thought I'd fall asleep during the movie since I was soooo tired from doing my show and the film is in French. But I was wrong; I was hooked from the beginning. The funny thing is that the film is not action-packed at all. Instead it looks at the mundane yet psychologically difficult toil of being in the resistance. It's very different from, say, Defiance, a great film but much more Hollywoodized. Where Defiance has action, love, and enemies, Army of Shadows has worried protagonists struggling with carrying out their orders.
Definitely a Wednesday movie and highly recommended if you like that sort of thing.

Last Friday, Brian and I watched Traitor with Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce. This film so wanted to be a Wednesday night, pay attention to me movie but it's much more of a Friday night have a beer film. Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce do well with the roles they are given but they aren't given much. The camera spends way too much time on people walking down a hall or driving. I don't understand the purpose of these "non-scenes." I usually get bored by this and open another a beer. Traitor reminded me of The Departed at one point but The Departed was so much better. Actually, if you liked The Departed, watch Infernal Affairs, a movie by Wai-keung lau which was the film Martin Scorsese riffed off of when he made The Departed. Infernal Affairs is much tighter and in my opinion much better. Of course, I watched the film a week before seeing The Departed so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it.
So: See Traitor w/a beer or 2, even a martini. You don't want to pay too much attention but it's entertaining.
See The Departed - it's long--you could totally have a beer or 2 and enjoy it.
Definitely see Infernal Affairs, it's not necessarily a Wednesday movie but it could be. It's just good with or without the beer.

I did see The Men Who Star at Goats in the theater a couple of weeks ago. I had meant to go out for drinks with a friend but she cancelled and my kids begged me to go out so they could have a sitter (Brian was away on business), I'm not sure what that says about my parenting skills... I say this all because while The Men Who Stare at Goats isn't the greatest film ever made, it's enjoyable as an escape. The actors: Kevin Spacey, George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Bridges don't work too hard at acting but they do seem to be enjoying themselves.
So: Friday night, have a beer or a martini, don't think to much, just enjoy.

I did watch The Happening (M. Night Shayalaman) with Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschannel, and John Leguizamo, a couple of days ago. Run, do not walk in the opposite direction if someone suggests this film. It was so poorly done and poorly acted and just plain poor. The only bright spot for me was that one of my actors from The Seafarer was an extra in the film and I recognized him. And that was the only part of the movie that I liked. 3 martinis cannot help this film.


  1. the happening was a big WTF...the old lady still gives me nightmares though...

    i love the last scenen of the departed...some people dont catch the visitor on the banister...

    traitor was ok...but i will definitely follow up with internal affairs...

  2. Agree on the Happening, that old lady gave me nightmares! You won't be sorry with Infernal Affairs, trust me.

  3. I LOVED Traitor, but probably for personal reasons. Pearce and Cheadle did give excellent performances, though... the ending sequence on the ship was a tad too Hollywood, but the portion on the bus? Nice touch, I thought... a reflection of what billions of people wish we could do.

    I'm with you on The Happening. Absolute garbage. I repeat: absolute. garbage.

    I will check out the '69 flick and the Clooney flick as soon as I can.

  4. I love the Departed, but then, I live in Boston. Paul and I thoroughly enjoyed Men Who Stare at Goats, laughed through the whole movie, who can't, it's so ridiculous, yet so based on fact. And then, there's George Clooney. I love George Clooney for many reasons. Who can't love his face? I've seen all of Shyamalan's movies except the Happening, thanks for saving me money. I will put Traitor and Army of Shadows on my list. Infernal Affairs has been on there. Have you seen The Hurt Locker? Just nominated for Golden Globe. I think you will really like it and have something to say or at least discuss.

  5. Wow I'm so out of touch I don't seem to have watched anything for weeks. I agree with the Mark Wahburg film then he leaves me cold most times. Some good tips for the holidays there.