Movies 2009

We Don't Need No (13/2009)

An Education Hadn't been to the movies in quite a while, and then I read the A.V. Club interview with Alfred Molina and remembered that Peter Sarsgaard was in this movie, and I didn't have any candy for trick or treaters, and running off to the movie theatre would be a good idea. 

I liked it a lot - especially Peter Sarsgaard; he has that look of almost harmlessness, but you always wonder what's lurking under the surface -, and I kept thinking there was something familiar about it, until I finally remembered that I had read about this in The Guardian a few months back. 

As usual, I couldn't possibly say it better than Roger Ebert.

Funny The Way It Is, If You Think About It (12/2009)

Funny People I like Adam Sandler when he plays seriously. Yes, he's a funny man, and here he gets to do both. I liked this, but do men really come up with nothing but penis and fart jokes when they're left to their own devices? I'm not complaining, exactly, I'm just puzzled.

I did like the story. And the performances. And how it kept going places I didn't really expect. Did I like the ending? Not sure, which is not a bad thing.

I Hurt Myself Today, To See If I Still Feel (10/2009)

The Hurt Locker For most films, I wait around for a week or two after their release, and make my way to the theatre when it gets less crowded. Not this one. The Hurt Locker has been at top of my list since I saw the first trailer. And I'd been interested as soon as I heard that it's directed by Kathryn Bigelow - I've paid attention to her ever since Near Dark, way back when in 1987.

So I went to see The Hurt Locker the very weekend it opened here in San Jose, and man oh man, what an adrenaline rush! You can call it an Iraq war movie, you can call it an action film, you can call it a character study. What a powerful film! I literally needed comfort food afterwards.

If you haven't seen it, this won't be a spoiler, and if you have, you'll know what I'm talking about: for me, the most powerful scene in the whole powerful movie is when he says, "I'm sorry! Do you understand? I'm SORRY!"

Man oh man. Man oh man oh man. That just slayed me.

Go check out their web site that really captures the atmosphere. Become their fan on Facebook. And watch the first eight minutes of the movies on if you can.

Strange Overtones In The Music You Are Playing (9/2009)

The Proposal Saw The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I like both actors, and the film was cute, and just as preposterous as I expected from a romantic comedy. I enjoyed it well enough, and I wholeheartedly agree with Ealasaid - with her official review as well as with her rant about stupid romantic comedies

Go read those; she's a much more articulate writer than I am.

Somebody Saved Me (8/2009)

Terminator Oh, right, I saw Terminator Salvation a couple of weeks ago; I forgot all about telling you. I kinda liked it, actually, and I think the key to that was walking in with low expectations after having seen lots of bad reviews. I didn't expect a masterpiece, and I didn't get one, but I got a pretty good war yarn.

It did strike me though - this is my main takeaway from the film, I keep thinking about this - those machines are really inept at the killing-mankind business. They go in mano a mano, shooting bullets, expending lots of energy, and they take human prisoners and whisk them away to their headquarters where they need to feed and take care of them, instead of just killing them. I get it from the storytelling standpoint, of course - this is so that the hero can make his way into enemy territory and bail out the hostages. But really - if I were a machine, and I wanted to kill off mankind? I wouldn't bother shooting them up, I would take their life support away - poison the water, burn the crops. (This occurred to me at the very beginning of the film. It starts off in a bleak, gray, deserted landscape, and when Christian Bale appeared in his fatigues and combat boots, my first thought was how well-muscled and well-fed he looked, and I was wondering where he'd get all those protein shakes needed to maintain his body.)

And The Stars Look Very Different Today (7/2009)

Star Trek Saw Star Trek this afternoon, and liked it a lot, especially Leonard Nimoy's role. And I thought Chris Pine made a fine young Kirk, Zachary Quinto a great young Spock, and Eric Bana a wonderful villain. Didn't care much for the casting of Spock's mother, and did a double-take on - what!?!? Tyler Perry.

Those two were the only ones who took me out of my willing suspension of disbelief, I was along for the ride for everything else. I actually think Roger Ebert's complaints are all spot-on, but I didn't even notice during the film, and now, afterwards, I don't mind.

Looking forward to the sequel.

Rama's Great, Rama's Good, Rama Does As Rama Should (3.5/2009)

Monday Music for you: the trailer for Nina Paley's film "Sita Sings the Blues", because the music is so catchy, and because the film is wonderful, and because I drove up to San Francisco today to see it at the Red Vic Movie House, and because it's playing there until Tuesday.

I counted this as #3.5 in my moviegoing tally, because I already counted it as #3 when I watched the DVD I received from Nina Paley.

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad (6/2009)

Duplicity Saw Duplicity a couple of weeks ago, because I liked the trailers, and because I like Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, and because it was written and directed by Tony Gilroy, who also wrote and directed Michael Clayton, which I absolutely loved. 

I enjoyed it. I didn't think it was quite as good as Michael Clayton, because Michael Clayton made you feel for the protagonists. This one just made you think, but it was a fine clever puzzle, and great banter between Owen and Roberts. And Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson made two great warring corporate chiefs. I kind of suspected what the final twist would be, but I didn't mind seeing it coming. I'm sure I'll watch that again when it comes around on TV, it was thoroughly enjoyable.