I guess I owe the mother of all film updates, as I’ve seen a whole slew and done no reporting. I’ll split into two posts, just to keep myself organized, and do only films here (though the videos are more exciting).
#42. Batman Begins. I loved this movie. I didn’t even know that I would like it, and I ended up loving it. I’ve now seen it twice. It’s not just pretty, it has a good story. No, really! Roger Ebert, I believe, said that this was the Batman movie he never knew he always wanted, and maybe that was true for me, too. There were so many good actors in this movie (no remarkable actresses, sadly). I’m already looking forward to the next film. I can say this, now, having seen the other Batman films: this was a totally different movie from the previous ventures. This Batman was darker and more people-focused. The older movies (particularly the last two) seem more like circus fare compared to this. Just a really cool movie. I don’t know how they managed to make a film about a guy who wears bat ears seem dark and serious, but they did, they totally did.
#43. War of the Worlds. Eh. Some parts of it were really cool – Steven Spielberg is just as good at action as his reputation implies. The aliens weren’t obviously computer generated, and the effects all seemed real. The problems I had with this movie mostly came from the story – not the original story (at least I don’t think so, though I haven’t read the original), but the script. I’m giving nothing away to say that the story is about a divorced father (played by this guy named Tom Cruise. Seems like a nice enough guy. Why haven’t I heard of him before?) who is distant from his two children, Blondie and Brooder. OK, those might not have been their names, but that’s close. Anyway, so, that all gets established in the first 15 minutes or so, when Deadbeat is late to get B&B after their mom, the Lady Eowyn, drops them off so she can go… somewhere for some reason. Then, in every possible scene at every possible moment, the distance between father and children is drilled back in. Ouch, I think I have brain damage from being hit over the head with this plot point so many frickin’ times! There are big moments of the story that rely on the “tension” that’s created by this whole mess, and those moments fell short for me. Tim Robbins, though, was scary as hell.
Perhaps the thing I enjoyed most in the whole War of the Worlds experience, and may be able to vouch for this, is that there was a trailer for Elizabethtown beforehand. I had seen the longer “director’s trailer” for it, but this neat shortened one was a lovely preview. I am very excited for that movie, even if Orlando Bloom’s accent seems somewhat suspect.
#44. Walk on Water. A very small film (at least, that’s my impression) about an Israeli secret police assassin who befriends a German brother (Axel) and sister (Pia) in order to find out the whereabouts of their grandfather, a former Nazi. The movie was particularly interesting to me because I’m reading a book that discusses a lot of Israeli/Palestinian history and politics. The end was way too neat, but some of the frank conversations throughout the movie (for instance, the conversation between Eyal and Axel about the lingering bitterness between Israelis and Germans) were well done.