Recently Watched

Aside from Inception at the theater, I plowed through a few other movies on DVD and Netflix Instant View while Eric was away:

In preference order:

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – It deserved the Best Picture Oscar it received. I held out on watching this film because I had feared would be like Crash or Babel: issue-centered, preachy, and with a plot centered around very bad things continuously happening to the characters. Reif’s recommendation of it prompted my viewing. Considering that it’s a Danny Boyle film, I should have known better. Yes, while bad things happen to characters, Slumdog Millionaire finds beauty in the setting, much in the same way that City of God does. Plot-wise, I think you have to look at it as a morality tale, or maybe even fairy tale. Virtue is definitely rewarded.

Steel Toes (2006) – Pretty much a two-actor piece starring David Strathairn and Andrew W. Walker. I was surprised to see that it wasn’t based on a stage production because it very well could be. It’s writing is that fine.

Below (2002) – A classic Western-style ghost story set on a WWII submarine. Creepy, but with the occasional cheap scare.

The Governess
(1998) – Set in the 1830s about a Sephardi Jew that becomes the governess for a Protestant Scottish family after her father is killed. Gorgeous movie. Every shot is lush and beautiful. I knew nothing of Sephardi Jews and the Scottish patriarch is obsessed with fixing photographic images, a science that is just taking off in the early 1800s. Unfortunately, the drama between the character got in the way of these more interesting, but non-story based aspects.

Milk (2008) – Sean Penn is a great actor, but the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) covers this story better.

De-Lovely (2004) – Kevin Klein and Ashley Judd are good in this, but it ended up being much too musical for me.

A Single Man
(2009) – The most boring movie about gay relationships since Brokeback Mountain.

Australia (2008) – Haven’t finished this movie yet. I checked how much movie was left at the 1 hour, 38 minute mark and was shocked to see there was an hour left. That was a looong 1:38. Kelli says the rest is worth it. I’ll get back to it one day.

Two films I watched with Eric:

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
(2009) – We watched this about a month back and I sort of forgot about it. I liked it when I watched it. Terry Gilliam films are variable and this is my favorite since 12 Monkeys. The change in actors (Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Ferrel all playing Tony) works very well. But, in the end it just wasn’t a movie that stuck with me.

Book of Eli (2010) – I really liked the Hughes Brothers’ last film, From Hell. The washed out look of this film was intriguing to me, and who doesn’t want to see Denzel Washington kicking bad guy ass? Alas, there’s a catch to this movie. A twist. And they cheat.

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