February 2003 Archives

The Girl on the Bridge

We watched the French language love story The Girl on the Bridge. Shot entirely in black and white, it shows the relationship of two people who find that they are complete only together.

Their success together is as a circus knife-throwing act. They not only thrill their audiences, but also derive an erotic thrill from the act of him throwing the knives at her. I didn't find it hard to follow, even though I was forced to read the subtitles.

I doubt my description does much to describe why it is a very interesting movie, but I think most people would enjoy it if they take the time to see it. On my scale of 1-100, I rate it an 85.

Jurassic Park III

We watched a recording of Jurassic Park III. It definately falls into the category of movies that didn't need to be made. The plot that gets the main characters back on an island populated with dinosaurs is contrived in the extreme. I was glad to see that they included the ptarydachtyls that were missing fromt the first movie, but were included in the book.

On my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 37.

Eight Days a Week

We watched the teen comedy Eight Days a Week. This was a forgettable little movie, but it was fun. The movie revolves around a single summer, when a teenager waits in the front yard of the girl of his dreams until she comes to share his feelings.

On my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 72.

Training Day

We watched a recording of Training Day. This movie earned Denzel Washington an Oscar and his co-star an Oscar nomination. It is easy to see why. This movie is relentlessly demanding of its stars. Denzel plays very effectively against his public personae as an evil, violent and manipulative narcotics officer. His character so thoroughly revels in living without constraints, that it is easy to forget our normal expectations of Denzel.

With that said, the movie is violent. It can be hard to watch. It shows our worst fears of corrupt police as true. It shows how easily even a decent character, can be seduced into becoming an acomplis in criminal activity. Please don’t watch it unless you are comfortable with movie violence.

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

The Majestic

We recently watched a recording of The Majestic. Jim Carrey is trying to stretch himself beyond simply being a comedic actor. In this movie, he plays a black-listed 1950’s screenwriter, who gets amnesia and then is welcomed in a small town as the missing son of the local movie theater’s owner.

This Norman Rockwell inspired town seems to be reawakened by the return of the missing war hero. Ultimately, all of the loose ends are tied together. I found this movie a little too neat for my tastes, but not unpleasant. If you think Carrey is only capable of being a buffoon, I recommend you watch this decidedly old-fashioned story. On my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 75.

Drugstore Cowboy

Not long after seeing Matt Dillon in One Night at McCool's, I watched a recording of Drugstore Cowboy. I enjoyed this story of a man whose leads life as a thief stealing from pharmacies to support his drug habit. The main characters moral development throughout the movie is very well done and quite believable. I thought the acting was very good. Further I found that the movie made me stop and reconsider the issues surrounding drug addiction without glamorizing drug use.

On my scale of 1-100, I rate it an 83.

The Man Who Wasn't There

We watched a recording of The Man Who Wasn't There. This black and white movie starring Billy Bob Thornton as a barber, who’s longing for something more leads to several murders and deaths, was interesting and subtle in its charms. I enjoyed the acting and the writing. In particular, I enjoyed the narration.

The movie is set in the 50’s in a small California town. It is interesting to see how just a little dissatisfaction can lead to such a dire outcome. Some may find the pace a little slow, but on my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 77.

One Night at McCool's

We watched a recording of the movie One Night at McCool's. Wow! What a mess this is. I read after the fact that as originally conceived, it was supposed to demonstrate differences in perception by showing a variety of scenes in one story from the viewpoint of three different characters. Supposedly it was then ruined by a studio system that wanted a more conventional movie.

I don’t know if that is accurate, but no matter what the process, it was ruined. On my scale of 1-100, I rate it a 36. It might be lower, but there was one good scene of Liv Tyler washing a car.

Shallow Hal

We watched a recording of Shallow Hal. I like many critics like that the Farrelly brothers who wrote and directed this movie make you question understand that misapplied political correctness is very condescending to those that it is “protecting”. They do this by treating all of their characters as equal.

Of course, given their comic sensibilities, this means equally able to be made fun of. The key is that no one character is more likely to be mocked than any other. The result is surprisingly evenhanded.

This story of a man, who, after a chance encounter with a new age guru, begins to perceive women’s physical appearance as a reflection of their character, is funny and nice. I liked that in the end he really did learn to value people for who they are. The interesting thing is that as viewers we are given the superficial appearance view and I think most will agree that physical appearance is hard to ignore, especially in members of the opposite sex.

This was a decent comedy that brings up some good points. I rate it an 84 on my scale of 1-100.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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