November 2002 Archives

When We Were Kings

We watched a recording of the documentary, When We Were Kings. This film tells the story of Muhammad Ali's "Rumble in the Jungle" with a very youthful George Foreman. Because this was from before my time, I found it interesting to learn some of the details of this event that I had a vague notion of but no real sense what actually happened.

All of the personalities involved from Ali to Foreman, Don King to James Brown were so large that it is easy to see how they became such unmistakable icons.

Like every good documentary, I was given enough information portrayed in an interesting enough way to intrigue me about a subject I might not have otherwise been interested in.

I think most people would find it interesting. As a result, on my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 79.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

We went to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets today. I enjoyed the first installment of this series and count myself as a fan of the books.

Often I find that movie adaptations of books loose some significant portion of the story and suffer as a result. The Harry Potter movies, by contrast actually seem very true to the books. This is both good and bad. The good aspect is that almost all of the things that make the books enjoyable are included. The bad is that having read the books, the plot sometimes drags a bit. Knowing what is going to happen can be spiced up a bit when the movie introduces unexpected changes. In the best of circumstances, these changes allow a different perspective with which one may contrast the book.

I think the casting, acting and visual effects are all very strong in this as well as the preceding movie in the series. Unfortunately, the adaptation was so exact, that it made me wonder if I had overestimated the book. Specifically, I thought the movie dragged a little at times.

Still it was a pleasant movie. On my scale of 1-100, I rate it an 84.

Journeys with George

We watched a recording of Journeys with George tonight. This film is a documentary about the presidential campaign of George Bush as seen by a news producer with NBC. I found this a very interesting if ultimately lightweight sort of movie. I think it is the kind of movie that will act as a mirror for most people’s own political views. If you think poorly of the current President you will scoff at hearing him say the same thing over and over at various campaign stops. If you think the press has an intense liberal bias, you will be able to see that. If you think Bush isn't a deep intellectual you will see that. If you think that Bush is nice personable person who is often misrepresented, you will be able to have that view reinforced.

Altogether though, I found it to be an interesting insight into the way a political campaign looks to those that are around it all the time. It was interesting to see crowds excited about a speech that was new to them, that the reporters were hearing for the fourth time that day and the twentieth time that week. More often than not, I like President Bush so I found it interesting to see a different side of him. On my scale of 1-100, I rate this movie an 80.

15 Minutes

We just finished watching a recording of 15 Minutes. Definitely a waste of time. I remember seeing previews in the theater and thinking that I probably didn't need to see it. How right I was. I wish I had believed that impression.

This movie was supposedly saying something about America's obsession with fame. Instead it just ended up as a silly mess.

On my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 33.

We watched We had recorded it off of cable. This documentary about the rise and fall of the dot com named It was an interesting depiction of all the ridiculousness of the dot com era, especially the focus on the money and their inability to manage it.

Ultimately, there was an interesting story to be told here, but as far as documentaries go this was not very well made. This was a decent movie with an interesting insight. I just wish a better filmmaker had made it.

On my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 68.

The Legend of Drunken Master

We watched a recording of The Legend of Drunken Master tonight. I like Jackie Chan movies. This wasn't my favorite of his movies, but it had the classic fighting choreography. I just wish it had had more of the usual humor.

So I rate it a 69 on my scale of 1-100.

Punch-Drunk Love

We went to see Punch-Drunk Love at the theater today. It was interesting to see Adam Sandler in a serious role. I really liked some of the visual effects and the way the director integrated music to emphasize the mood of the story.

On the other hand, I often wished the camera would pull back a little. The close-ups very effectively made me more involved as a waited to see what would come in from just off-screen. Also sometimes the music was almost overwhelming. Finally, I would have preferred at least a few characters that weren't disturbed or disturbing.

On my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 77.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

We watched a recording of Captain Corelli's Mandolin. This love story set in Greece during World War II. With 2 high profile stars in Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz, this movie received a lot of promotion.

I wasn't expecting much from the movie, but thought that I would enjoy it. I did in general, but it was slow. How slow? Very, very slow. This movie could have been an hour long and stile covered the same plot. I could have been 2 hours long and been a little leisurely, but no this movie was almost 2 and a half hours long.

As a result, I rate this a 66 on my scale of 1-100.

The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag

We watched a recording of The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag. This was a silly movie about a librarian who confesses to a murder, in order to get some attention from her husband and others. I think it was supposed to be funny or maybe empowering for meek women or something.

I just found it boring and dated. As a result, on my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 41.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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