Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blah Blah Blah Movies and Stuff

I've been watching tons of movies as usual, just not blogging about them. 140 characters on Twitter is enough to describe most movies I see (sadly). I found Patriotic Danger, so my next review for the Independent Films Series will be not too far away.

Last night my sister and I had a mini-movie-marathon.
We watched the dance flick Step Up  as she hadn't seen it before and I recently received it as part of a bequest of sorts. My partner's mother passed away just before Xmas and it's been a trial getting through it as she was beloved by many and was always a friend to me. Her husband, my boyfriend's Dad, saw fit to give me her extensive DVD collection (which she treasured, as do I now) and I was delighted to find I didn't own most of the films. I'm still trying to replace those many VHS cassettes I had back in the day. Step Up was one of those movies so we watched it and I forgot how much I enjoyed it, though it is a very simple movie. It reminded me that Channing Tatum CAN act as you'll probably be assured of once you see his upcoming film Dear John, a tearjerker romance from the makers of The Notebook. The trailer got me choked up. Whoah boy.

For the second feature in our movie marathon, we watched Galaxy Quest as my sister had never seen it all the way through. If any of you haven't seen this movie I really encourage you to do so and don't let the fact it stars Tim Allen put you off. You'll also see Sigourney Weaver (just beautiful and charming as usual) and one of my main-men Alan Rickman. It's laugh-out-loud funny and really well made. The characters are all so easy to care for. Even if your normal genre of choice isn't Sci-Fi, it won't matter. Galaxy Quest is a really enjoyable flick.

In recent weeks I also happened to see Sherlock Holmes (RDJ just refuses to put a foot wrong), Avatar (twice in 3D) and The Hurt Locker, amongst all the others. I really enjoyed them all but for very different reasons. At the recent Golden Globe Awards, Kathryn Bigelow missed out on a best director gong, which floored me. I thought Avatar was magnificent, a stunning creation, but the fact that Cameron beat Bigelow seemed wrong. I hope that this might be corrected at the Academy Awards but who really cares? Either way, The Hurt Locker had to be the best film of 2009, though it wasn't my personal favourite. Some films make me feel as though I've been through an ordeal of some kind, yet none have quite slapped me in the face like this one. It was a different feeling than I've ever had post-celluloid. I really hope that, even if The Hurt Locker misses out on a few awards, that most people see it regardless. If you care one shred about the men and women serving in your armed forces, you owe it to them and to yourself. And even if you don't, it's just damn fine story telling.

Finally, today I watched Precious. I've been curious about the movie for some time, especially now that Mo'Nique is getting so many awards for her portrayal of an abusive mother. At times, it was difficult for me to think of this movie critically as the actual story is so unimaginably horrific that acting and scripts and lighting just went by the wayside for me. Unknown actress Gabourey Sidibe portrays the lead character, and believe me when I say, she's a real find. I've watched a few interviews with her and was amazed to find she talks like a valley girl and an intelligent one at that. It makes me like the movie even more to know that Sidibe is so very opposite in real life. While Mo'Nique on the other hand, well, I've seen her comedy and I know the ghetto routine isn't that much of a stretch. It actually annoys me a bit that Sidibe was ignored by all of the awards committees and Mo'Nique was not. However, I must admit that one final scene in the movie had to be what secured who was nominated, and who wasn't. I can't really say anything negative about this movie. I'm so pleased to see a film that easily could have been more Dangerous Minds than Dead Poet's Society but ended up being neither. This is a movie about about empowerment and about abuse. It's unique and extraordinary. I think it only just sits under The Hurt Locker for me in 2009. It's a must see, but be forewarned, it is so tragic that you might not be the same after watching it.

I'm still trying to find and see all of the AFI top 100 movies. I'm half-way through watching Yankee Doodle Dandy. I remember loving this movie as a kid but am now realising that it's a sad snapshot of a time when Americans treated some of its citizens as less-than for no good reason at all. I'll write more about this movie later. 

Catch up with me on twitter or leave a comment below and let me know what you're watching!


Mattson Tomlin said...

still haven't made my way out to see Precious, I'll get there. Really, really was dissatisfied with Avatar. Really thought it was a silly waste of time. Fortunately, I have the novel to look forward to!

Jen said...

I enjoyed Avatar, what can I say? It was just a really beautiful film. Yes the story was a replay and pretty light but who cares. I think the heart was there, and that's the most important thing. :)