Saturday, January 03, 2009

Winter Break Movie Rundown

Over the past two weeks - Ah! Short, wonderful, winter break! How I will miss you day after tomorrow - I've had the chance to catch up on a few movies that I've missed over the past year or so. (Some I watched by choice, and some I saw just by virtue of being at my mother's house in her comfy recliners and feeling that changing the channel would require just too much exercise.) Here's a rundown of what I've seen thus far:

1) Once - Cristen and I watched this one last night. I really liked it. Quiet little movie - almost a musical - that sinks into your subconscious mind and hangs, rather tenaciously, for quite some time after you've seen it. It's short, and unassuming, and just does what it does without fuss...but leaves you aching.

Fantastic soundtrack, too. It's going on my iTunes forthwith.

2) Casino Royale - Yeah, I know, I know, it's like two years old. I REALLY don't see movies like I used to. And, to be honest, I've never actually ELECTED to watch a James Bond movie before. I've seen a few, but usually because some guy I liked at the time wanted to go see one. They've always left me cold (even View to a Kill, my favorite due to the sole reason that Duran Duran did the theme song. I remember nothing else about it other than Grace Jones, however). But, everybody raved about how great this one was, and I have liked Daniel Craig in everything I've seen him in - and, plus, I knew it was about poker, a hobby/slavish habit of mine - so I turned it on while we were in KC.

And? Well...I guess I'm just a James Bond philistine, because I thought it was just another Bond movie. I will not deny that Daniel Craig is super hot, and fills out a tux better than just about anybody except George Clooney, and that he is a reasonably good actor overall. And, I liked his thuggy take on the Bond character, which provided me more interest than the movie itself. But, it's nothing I'd really seek to watch again, which is always my measure of a great movie.

3) The Golden Compass - I had heard mixed reviews about this one, but I liked it fairly well. I'm glad I've seen it before the girls do, if for nothing else than the fact that I now have some semblance of an idea of what exactly the fuck this story is about, for explanation purposes. I have the book, but haven't read it yet...I'll probably dig it out and give it a whirl, as I'm in between books at the moment.

Daniel Craig, again, is very good, as is the main girl, as is Nicole Kidman. You know, I don't think of myself as a huge Nicole fan, but I can't think of a movie that I absolutely hated with her in it. (I even liked Eyes Wide Shut, and I think I am the only person in the world who did. I did fall asleep in The Hours, but I was on a transatlantic flight, and had had quite a bit of red wine, and possibly a Xanax.) Moulin Rouge? To Die For? Flirting? I think I must like her just fine.

4) The Bucket List - This one goes under the category of "can't get up to change the channel." No, actually, my mom made me watch it. It A gratingly predictable tearjerker. I will admit to tearing up at the end, but I was even annoyed by that total bit of manipulation. Oh, gee, Morgan Freeman is noble and elderly, and Nicholson is a giant canned ham with a cackle that belies his inner pain. Very original.

(It is entirely possible that I am just an unfeeling jerk, however. Carry on.)

5) Prince Caspian - Again, I really must read the book before I attempt to explain this one to my children. Who was that guy again? What land is he from? Is he Trumpkin? Snufflefrump? Wizzleguard? How about Bumpletum? Whangdoodle? Why are they fighting? Why are they fighting NOW? Who knows? Hell if I do...

Actually, we only made it halfway into this one tonight before we had to call it quits. It's long, and it was late, and the deaths in it were freaking out the OG to some degree, and there was the matter of an exciting football game going on that The Man couldn't help but notice. We'll watch the rest tomorrow, presumably.

6) Bolt - One of two that I saw in the theater. LOVED it. It's basically a Pixar movie, and it's written as well as the Pixar flicks. Funny, sweet, touching. This one EARNED my tearing up at the end, damn it. This is one I feel confident we'll buy.

7) The Tale of Despereaux - The other one I saw in the theater. (And yes, there is a theme to movies I tend to see in theaters. The key letters always include "G.")

Voices by Kevin Kline? Dustin Hoffman? Sigourney Weaver? Matthew Broderick? TRACEY ULLMAN? Beautiful animation, like a Boticelli set to motion? You would think I would totally love this one. I really did not love it. It is long, and slow, and my generally good movie-watching children were fidgeting noticeably, as was my ADHD husband. Go see Bolt instead.

Next up on the Netflix: Tropic Thunder and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Sadly, I just hope I get to them before spring break.


JoyBugaloo said...

You will LOVE "Tropic Thunder!" It was my favorite film of this year (thus far)....until tonight, when I watched "Hamlet 2" and almost wet myself laughing! Watch it after the girls are in bed, but watch it.

Likewise, I have a little after-Christmas present for you. You always gift us with such wonderful YouTube videos. This is payback. Mind you, the poor person who made it did so in earnest, but it's the funniest damn thing I've ever seen! Enjoy.

Bookhart said...

I'm with you one hundred percent on the Bond movies.