Week in Review-Film
Over the vacation I have managed to watch a few films that were either laying around here from Megan or my mom, or ones that have been gathering dust from Netflix.
I watched two scary movies. I know, wrong holiday, but Larry loves horror genre films, while I consider most of the modern ones repetitive scenes of unnecessary violence which are poorly done. (save for Silence of the Lambs - oh so excellent) But I will watch them, closing my eyes if I can't deal with what is happening, or going to sleep.
First was "The Happening" by M. Night Shyamalan with Mark Wahlberg and John Leguizamo. Not a great thriller, but an interesting message. Man ruining the earth till it fights back. It held my attention, though it could have been kicked up a notch or two in the intellectual realm. 3.5 stars.
Then there was "The Stranger" with the beautiful Liv Tyler. The young director definitely attained his goal of terror (I watched the extras) in this film. Young couple ends up in an empty home after a wedding, and is terrorized and tortured by three masked young people. It was based upon an experience the director had in his childhood, as well as the Charles Manson murders, and possibly another murder in California in the 80's, where a family met a similar fate. I felt like I was stuck in a dream where you could not run....and did not enjoy it. 2.5 stars.
I wanted something a little more sexy and off beat, so Swimming Pool was next. I was a bit disappointed in the film, - it reminded me of the soft core porn like "Lady Chatterly's Lover" and others that came from the 80's. This was Agatha Christie like in approach, and though enjoyable enough it only gets 3.5 Netflix stars from me.
Larry and I even made it to the theater to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I went just to see Cate Blanchett (the Gift, Notes on a Scandal) and Tilda Swinton (Burn after Reading, Orlando, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe), two excellent actresses , and secondly, Brad Pitt. Now many of you girls LOVE Brad Pitt, but there is something about him that disqualifies him from my fantasy bank. Don't know what it is, perhaps he is too blonde, or too wholesome for me, or reminds me too much like the "hump at dump" lifeguards at the resort I worked at in the 70's. I like the darker side, Jeremy Irons and Ralph Fiennes.
An interesting story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this movie was a tad too long for what it was. I am a sucker for epic love stories, but I could not relate to it emotionally as I could in Reds, Dr. Zhivago, The English Patient. I felt a little stain in my heart, and a tear well up in one part, but I was not emotionally engaged. Visually perhaps, and the story did twist my brain a bit, so I give it a "barely reaching 4" rating. (out of 5 BTW)
There are some other movies I want to check out in the theaters - Doubt, Milk, Revolutionary Road and The Reader. It will be interesting to see how they compete with Benjamin Buttons.
Off to a hot bath, some wine, and to start meditating on how I am going to approach the students coming back to school after a long break. I am sure many of them came from craziness over the long break...but then again, so have I. Patience, nurturing and some chocolate cookies!
Patti O Reviewer