so, the oscars are coming up 7d from now, and man, am i way behind.
i am in fact a movie-whore, which is to say, i care about “film” and awards shows and all waaaaay too much. when i’ve only seen ONE out of the 5 best-pic noms for the year, well, a) it tells you what a sad state hollywood is in lately, b)i’m going to hit the theaters a lot to rectify the situation. now, typically, if nobody else wants to see my weird indie/art movies, i just wait for it to come out on disc. for the oscars, tho, like any other battle, it’s way more fun if you give a crap about the competitors…so, off to see a bunch of stuff.
friday night, we watched ‘crash‘ (which netflix was kind enough to finally provide after it’d been on the “short wait” status for about 2 weeks). it was a pretty good movie, i found myself actually caring about what hapened to all the involved people (and there were a lot of involved people, it’s one of those 15 different converging stories sort of movies), but overall, it didn’t **really** have much to say. you and i all knew that “racism is bad” and that “each of us carries our own prejudices” before we saw this flick, so really nothing new here. the only thing going for it was that it actually felt the need to say what people in the real world actually think, with out the p.c. filter. i’m definately thinking this one is getting the awards buzz because of ‘the ciderhouse rules’ phenomenon: it’s an Issues movie, so for you to say the movie is bad makes you a racist (this just came up first for me personally whilst watching ‘ciderhouse’, which was a schmaltzy boring movie that just happened to be about Abortion Rights, therefore, was unassailable critically. as in, if the Issue is important, the movie must be just great). the movie wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t original or unique, and it had big-name stars in small parts in an ensemble cast.
saturday, i got to the charles to catch ‘match point’, widely hailed as woody allen’s big comeback movie. i happen to be a big beliver that every movie has to stand on it’s own, so it doesn’t matter how great the book was or how super that one actor is or that this director once did great stuff, every movie has to be watched for itself, and succeeds or not based on what actually goes on in that 2(ish) hours of your time. so, i could give a crap about allen’s former glory or recent disappointments, i just heard this one was good. for the first hour or so, i rather disagreed: this movie is really nothing new either. guy has to decide between comfortable home life or wild & crazy sex fling. the second half is a total surprise, however, and gets all hitchcock-y and incredibly tense, and is genuinely unexpected. the movie is very well cast, characters evolve/grow/change over the course of the story, and i’m thinking this one very much deserves it’s screenplay nom.
today’s offering was ‘munich‘ at the $3 theater. unfortunately, it, too, is a major ‘ciderhouse’ movie…all Issues, no connection. none of the story is explained enough to make you understand why a young guy would leave his family behind on this years-long vengeance mission (he apparently takes it intensely personally, but we never know why), while the mission itself goes on and on and on for 3 hours (editing would have helped a lot). i think this one and ‘war of the worlds’ suffer from the same problem: it’s a very intense, driven movie, with noone to lead me through all the chaos. both of these films come off as very cold and distant; they hold you away at arm’s length even while showing you very tense, emotionally charged scenes. there’s a bizarrely cheezy/graphic sex scene at the end that almost ruins any mood the movie’s managed to make thusfar, and completely jolts you out of the theater-going experience. there was a guy in the back of the theater snoring through part of it, and another 2 people just left halfway through, so i’m not alone in finding this movie unfortunately boring. eric bana does a great job with what he’s given, and several of the bit-part actors are very good, but overall, it’s just not working for me.
tuesday night, there’s a free showing of ‘night watch‘ at the charles. it’s a weird-ass vampire movie, in russian, so i’m expecting it all to be ever so cracktacular. go check out the movie’s official site to see if there’s a free showing in your area. it’s probably silly as all hell, but it looks really pretty, and hey, free is super-sweet.
wednesday night…may be time for a random double feature…’history of violence’ +/- ‘good night & good luck’.