Thursday, August 20, 2009

Recent movie watching

As you may have noticed I have a pretty open day today so I am trying to catch up a little bit on reviews at least. So first up are movies.

Last Chance Harvey (2008). The story of a guy, a bit of a sad sack, Harvey (played by Dustin Hoffman) who goes to London for his estranged (?) daughter's wedding only to realize that he is at his "last chance" at changing his life and meets a woman (played by Emma Thompson), a bit of a sad sack herself, who could really use a chance at life as well. It was a very well played adorable movie with some emotional moments. I didn't think it was anything groundbreaking but extremely well done for what it is. I would recommend seeing it, but not rushing it to the top of your list.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005). French Canadian film about a gay guy, Zac (played by Marc-André Grondin), growing up in a religious family in the 60s-70s. First off, as a warning, it is subtitled. So if that bothers you, well there you go. Marc-André Grondin (understandably called by some the Canadian Gael García Bernal) is a very nice piece of eye candy. All around good acting, it is a little hard with the language thing to say if everyone is great necessarily. But all around, very well done. The story is engaging (if a little strange at times). I feel like we miss a little bit not actually being French Canadian 40 years ago. Can someone explain ironed toast to me? I would definitely recommend this movie. A good mix of sex, drugs, family drama, religious overtones and David Bowie.

Defiance (2008). The true story of the brothers Bielski (Tuvia played by Daniel Craig, Zus played by Liev Schrieber, Asael played by Jamie Bell and Aron played by George MacKay). They are Jewish and live in Belarussia (Poland) in 1941. Not a great place to be. This is the under appreciated (in my opinion) story of how they survived (and fought back) and formed a community in the forest for 4 years while being constantly hunted by the Germans until they walked out with 1200 other survivors. An absolutely amazing story, extremely well acted. I highly recommend it. Matty only recommends it. I dont know why.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). We finally went to see this last week. It seems silly for me to review this here. Because you are either going to see it or not see it and what I say about it shouldnt really matter. And if it does matter, then maybe you shouldnt see it. I am not being snooty. Bear with me. Dan said that they are making these movies for people who have read the books at this point. I think that they are making them either for people who have read the books or who have seen the other movies. Which I think is fair. This is number 6 in the series. I dont think they should have to make it understandable to people who havent seen the other 5. There is simply too much to put into these movies as it is without having to play catch up for people who dont know who Ron is at this point. I am not sure if you have to have read the book to enjoy it, because I have read the book so I cant pretend I dont have that knowledge behind me. I think the biggest problems with these movies, and this is something I said as soon as I read the books, is that there is simply too much to these books. There is no way to put everything in a single movie of reasonable length. In fact I think they are having difficulty even putting all the pertinent events that they absolutely must add into a movie of reasonable length. So a lot gets cut. But the stuff that gets cut is really important (maybe not to the major plotline) but to the world of Harry Potter. It is out of necessity but it detracts from the movies over the books. That's my opinion. Obviously, if you have seen the first 5 movies or if you have read the books, go see it. If you haven't then I dont think you should. I dont think you will enjoy it much. I did enjoy it, but not as much as Prisoner of Azkaban or Goblet of Fire. I think there was simply way too much for one movie. I thought the same about Order of the Phoenix (one of my favorite of the books).

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