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Flicks So Far

Slowly, but surely, I’m hitting up all the movies I need to see before the big awards show. Actually, I’m not going to see ALL of them because it really wrecks the DVD rentals for the rest of the year. I’m not exactly sure WHY I’m so into seeing this slew of movies NOW. I haven’t felt this way since Grossfelds. Maybe because Mikey got in some SAG screeners and free movie passes and I finally finished my Netflix Bogey collection that freed up room for the more contemporary releases. In any event, this is what I’ve seen so far:

  • THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA – A fun chick flick sporting particularly delicious evil roles for Streep and Blunt.
  • DREAMGIRLS – An above-average piece of filmmaking. I wasn’t as moved as I felt I should be but I like music so I superficially enjoyed it. Beyonce’s flatness was distracting. To quote the acting coach she shares with Mikey, “Hey, she was better than she was in Austin Powers but I can’t work miracles.”
  • AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH – Engaging, disturbing and disheartening. I was 80% moved and felt 20% that the film contained too much Gore.
  • JESUS CAMP – Almost too simple and straightforward. Fascination arises in the ways seems to speak to both proponents and critics of Evangelicals and their politics. Production quality is poor. Reused footage tends to get tedious but engaging information manages to overall permeate. Apparently Mike’s colleague is a former Jesus Camp counselor.
  • LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA – I dig history and knowledge so I got a lot out of this picture. Excellent acting and plenty of relatable characters, but I didn’t feel a strong emotional connection to the story, despite my recent fascination with my family’s involvement in the WWII South Pacific campaign. (Maybe because Hansley was snoring one chair over… just kidding, it was more than that) Some of the cinematography is incredible but I wanted a different angle in the packaging and presentation part of the film. I didn’t understand why they dumped all of the fragile letters into the dirt at the end.
  • LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – Enjoyable and entertaining from start to finish. Carell gives a surprisingly understated but touching performance. Breslin, whom I had reservations about, is both absolutely adorable and realistic. But is Little Miss Best Picture material? No. It’s neither revelatory nor revolutionary. But boy, was it fun.
  • PAN’S LABYRINTH – Amazing visuals and haunting soundtrack. If only I could have a chubby root baby. I felt that Pan’s was less an “adult fairytale” and more an emotional scythe. Dark is an understatement. I enjoyed the marriage of historical fiction and fantasy but craved more running around in the labyrinth. I was confused by the passage of time but Lens recently cleared this up. I HATED the ending insofar as the cheesy visualization of the throne room but everything else rocked. All in all I wished that the fantasy and reality were more of a singular organism than they proved. Overall, a disturbing mind-bender worthy of serious post-screening discussion.
  • VENUS – I didn’t know this movie was about dirty old men until I started watching it. That said, great high concept, creepy and unrelatable yet somehow engaging story. The writing, dialogue and acting are primo realistic.

Sadly, I didn’t get any life-changing revelations from any of the aforementioned movies but Pan’s and Truth were probably the most affecting.

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