Saturday, July 30, 2011

Movies This Week (...Or Month)

I'm back! It's been awhile since I blogged anything. From the 4th to the 24th, I was working at a kids' theater camp, putting on a production of High School Musical Jr. (Pretty sure those songs are never, ever, ever going to leave my head.) Although we were staying in an apartment rather than in cabins or tents or anything like that, we didn't have Internet. So now I have returned.

I did most of my movie watching in the last week since I've been back, but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of movies at camp as well. So I'll give you the quick rundown of those before moving onto this week's.

Movies I Watched At Camp

Napoleon (1927). A four-hour silent French biopic about the life of Napoleon that takes us up to when he really started gaining power. Some impressive filmmaking demonstrated, but Napoleon is an uninteresting character. It succeeds technically and fails storywise. 2/5.

Waterloo (1970). I didn't intentionally watch this right after Napoleon, it just happened to be the next one on my list. Not a new favorite or anything, but a pretty solid war story. Napoleon himself is about 10 times more interesting in this version. 3/5.

The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969). A long but charming story about an Italian village in World War II who must hide the wine they're famous for before the Germans come and take it from them. A fun watch. 4/5.

Creation (2009). Biopic of Charles Darwin. Good acting from Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly, but it lacks a solid overarching theme tying it together, so ends up scattered. 2.5/5.

Ran (1985). Adaptation of King Lear set in feudal Japan. The story gripped me less than other Kurosawa films, but it does have some of the most haunting imagery I've ever seen. If it was shorter it would probably hit me harder and I'd give it 4. As it is, 3.5/5.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921). A story about a family torn apart by war. A few interesting moments, but jumping between the "big picture" moments and the intimate scenes of the family is very jarring. 2.5/5.

Kung Fu Hustle (2004). Silly martial arts comedy. I didn't like it at first, but as it went on I warmed to the ridiculousness of it and by the end was thoroughly enjoying it. I did laugh out loud a few times. 3.5/5.

All right. Now:

Movies I Saw This Week

Rango (2011). Animated western starring Johnny Depp as a city lizard who ends up in the desert. I expected this to be funnier and more interesting than it was. Unfortunately, I think the hype ruined it for me. It wasn't bad, but it never really made me laugh. 3/5.

The Adjustment Bureau (2011). Sci-fi romance about two people who want to be together but are kept apart by a mysterious group. Despite the fun sci-fi plot, I got frustrated with the characters in this movie and cared less and less whether they were going to make it out. 3/5.

The Sunshine Boys (1996). This remake of Neil Simon's original doesn't always work, but I like some of the new dynamics. Woody Allen in particular really works for me in this role. 3.5/5.

The Birdcage (1996). Comedy about a gay couple whose son is getting engaged to the daughter of an ultraconservative senator. Funny, crazy, unexpected. I can't remember the last time a movie made me laugh out loud this much. Very solid. 4/5.

All right. All right. Now I'm caught up on that. Although it's very weird for me to be at the end of the month and only have seen 13 movies.

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