Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wearing Out Netflix

Between the holidays and the writer's strike, this has been a good time to get in some movie watching.

Superbad - It's not hard to believe that this was based on writings by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg while they were teenagers. The two of them were lucky enough to make so much money in similar themed movies later in life that they were able to bring this to the screen with the same success. I am admittedly immature and can be quite a fan of foul language and sexual humor, so this movie was right up my alley and I enjoyed it. I'm sure many guys can relate to the story of best friends in high school dealing with the anxiety of trying to get drunk, laid, while trying to sort through the upcoming biggest change in their relationship. There were so many moments in the movie that brought flashbacks of my youth. I remember hiding in the bushes while the cops are chasing me, going to parties of school mates with parents out of town, buying liquor with a fake ID, and talking some serious shit about sex. Ah, good times.

Layer Cake - I was able to catch this on HDNet. It was similar to other British crime capers. In fact like most of these British movies, I probably missed 10% of the dialog due to accents or phrases that I don't know what they mean. It wasn't as flashy as Snatch or have as much catchy dialog, but it had a good story and it was well done. I think Daniel Craig would have looked better in his first Bond movie if he was still built like he was in this movie. He was muscular, but not bulky.

Talk to Me - I will watch just about anything Don Cheadle stars in except more Ocean's movies, and that's not because of him, I think he is the funniest character in the crew. This is a story loosely based on "Petey" Greene, a bold, black ex-con radio host in 70's era Washington D.C. and Dewey Hughes, the man that helped him launch his career after he served his time in prison. These 2 were a great team because they each had strengths that the other lacked. Dewey had vision and "Petey" had the voice of the people. As a white kid growing up in south Alabama, I don't have any memory of any of the things that happened in the movie and couldn't relate to much of it. I thought the movie was OK, but it was great to see Don playing this character.

Amazing Grace - This was a good family film (as long as the kiddies are old enough to discuss slavery themes / death) that gives some background to the ending of the slave trade and abolition of slavery in England. You can see references that William Wilberforce also founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Until I saw this film, I never even thought of how much of a financial impact that abolition was to cause the British nation. Of course the human life of African slaves was worth more, but I see how difficult it would be to get the support of certain people and business interests. I see similar problems with our elected officials today. Many times, there is too much money being made doing bad things to encourage change. It takes strong people with conviction that are also charasmatic to get things pushed through our government and social conscience.

Eastern Promises - This was a great movie that was not family friendly but written by the same guy that did Amazing Grace. Some of the team that did A History of Violence got together and brought us this story of a the Russian mafia in London and their interaction with a British midwife. If you've got a strong stomach for blades and cutting, you will see a great performance by Viggo Mortensen. You can tell he really was dedicated to his character and you never knew what to expect. This movie is high on my recommendations list.

War - This was an OK movie that got a little better as it progressed. I'm a fan of action, Jet Li, and Jason Statham movies so this should have been much better.

The Kingdom - Peter Berg makes some great "guy" movies. He does more work as an actor, but every now and then he gets behind the camera (Very Bad Things, The Rundown, Friday Night Lights) and it is a treat. I really enjoyed this film and thought it was very well done. It has a great cast and action was intense. I can't speak to the validity of "facts" that are presented in the film since I am a idiot when it comes to the state of affairs in the Middle East but I'm sure there is a bit of some ugly truths shown.

The Last Legion - If a movie or TV show has to do with Excalibur or King Arthur, I will attempt to see it. I've always enjoyed these stories along with Greek mythology. This was not one of my favorites and the only reason I would even consider telling you to watch it is to see Aishwarya Rai. I had never heard of her before, but man is she beautiful. Apparently the rest of the world knows who she is, just not this silly 'merican. She was Miss World 1994 and is known as the Queen of Bollywood. Colin Firth is in the movie if any of you ladies are in to him. I actually liked the premise of the story, it just felt very "B" movie grade despite the quality of some of the actors involved in the project.

I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry - A good but not great comedy with Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Jessica Biel. It is worth a spot in your rental queue for some laughs and Jessica looks great in some of the scenes.

Reign Over Me - Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler do a great job in this. It is a well conceived story about 2 men who hadn't seen each other since they were roommates in dental school. In the time that has passed, Adam's character has lost his wife and children during the attacks on September 11th and has withdrawn from society. While helping his former friend, Don's character is able to realize that his life is in need of some repair as well. This is a must see movie when you are in the mood for a good drama that will make you laugh and cry.

The Bourne Ultimatum - Sweet Baby Jane! If you haven't seen this one, go get it. Matt Damon does another great job and the action stays strong from beginning to end while remaining a smart story. Our hero is still searching for answers and we see some characters from the past return to possibly assist him. Sequels and trilogies have a way of sucking, but this one is still going strong. I don't know if it will go as long as the Bond series, but I think it it is this generation's version of our Indiana Jones.

OK, now grab some popcorn and a Coke (I do live in Atlanta after all), dim the lights and fire up the movie box.


At 6:56 AM, Blogger "The Rake" said...

Dude, have you seen daylight lately?

I do need to see The Kingdom. Someday maybe I can.

At 1:57 PM, Blogger CC said...

Eastern Promises was tough to see but really superb. Bourne really keeps getting better and better as well!


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