Movies I've seen recently include:
I really liked the thoughtfulness of the movie, speculating on how memory shapes who we are, and how we make our choices in life. In fact, without memory, can we even say we are anybody at all? The acting by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet was outstanding - I haven't liked much of Carrey's work in the past, but he suppresses his out-of-control energy so successfully in this film that you forget that it's him. And I felt that the wackiness that Kaufman inserts in his work as a matter of course was less overt and also served the story better than in his previous work. I really highly recommend it if you can still find it in a theater near you. I wouldn't mind seeing it again, just to fit it all together in my head; I meant to write this review the day after, but didn't get around to it for a couple weeks, and I know that I have forgotten several aspects of the film that struck me at the time. Alas.
I wasn't particularly pleased with the extended ending, especially after having been crammed into a movie seat for three hours, but I can forgive that. And I don't know if I'll get the super-mondo-extended-dance-remix-DVD set that is destined to be released, because I can't ever really imagine sitting through the whole thing again. But I have to admit the success of Peter Jackson boggles my mind. I never imagined that a director who I knew mostly for Meet the Feebles and Bad Taste could distill the sprawling Lord of the Rings epic into a coherent cinematic experience that appeals to the casual fan like myself, but also satisfies the hard core Tolkien fans like my friends that were quoting poetry from the books at dinner after the movie. Tremendous job.
Very weird flick. Very funny. Bruce Campbell, of Evil Dead fame, is Elvis and does a fantastic job. And there's lots of great little moments where they remind us that these guys are old. In the climactic "going out to face the mummy" scene, the heroic music is cued, and they turn the corner: a white-jumpsuit-clad Bruce Campbell hobbling along with a walker, and Ossie Davis in a suit as JFK motoring alongside him in a wheelchair. This movie pretty much has to be seen to be believed.
Let me give an example. In one scene, Lara Croft and a friend are running away from some bad guys, up to the roof of a building. They calmly put on a pair of flying squirrel suits (which look totally dorky - kind of like the water wings that little kids wear in the swimming pool), talk about what they're going to do, and then jump off the building, glide for a minute and set down on a boat. BORING!
If McG (director of Charlie's Angels) were doing it, here's what would happen. They'd run to the roof. The bad guys would be shown getting to the roof, saying "We've got them now!" A heavy techno soundtrack would kick in. We'd see the two sides exchange gunfire. We'd see Lara and her buddy race across the roof, gunfire following them across, as they dive off the building in an extreme slow-motion segment photographed from above to emphasize the huge distance down to the ground below. There would probably be Matrix-like bullet-time photography involved as well. In mid-air, we'd see them stripping off their clothes to reveal the cool-looking wings (and a lot of flesh, of course), with them snapping out the wings on a huge musical sting, and the scene would cut to them landing. That's how it should have worked. Instead, they managed to take what should have been an exciting scene and made it look routine. They pulled back from going over the top, and lost a great opportunity.
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