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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend movies

I've seen a bunch of videos over the last week plus.  These are listed in the order that I enjoyed them:

Elvis and Annabelle. (2007)  Charming independent dramedy about a Texas beauty queen (Blake Lively) who dies, returns to life, and begins a relationship with a reclusive mortician-in-training (wonderful Max Mighella, from Art School Confidential) who witnessed, or maybe even facilitated, her awakening.  Rather quiet, but very involving, and quite emotional, with beautifully portrayed budding romance, as well as the lovely relationship between disabled father and devoted son.  Bonus - themes about miracles and redemption.  Very worthwhile.

Easy A. (2010) Funnier than I expected, though I liked the first half better than the second half. Further proof that good teen movies are good when the adult characters are well-written and well-acted. In fact, I'm not sure how they got all these great actors to take tiny roles in this fairly silly movie. Definitely makes it more watchable. Plus, Emma Stone is terrific - great comic timing and delivery. I can't wait to see what she does in The Help. One small quibble - Emma's character says she's unappealing to guys, but that's kind of ridiculous - e.g., she plays the super hot girl that Jesse Eisenberg wants to get with in Zombieland! Bonus - love interest is played by yummy Penn Badgley (also yummy in John Tucker Must Die).

The Edge of Love. (2008) Considering the themes of passion, betrayal, and wartime privations, the movie is somewhat emotionally remote, but it's certainly gorgeously made, and features wonderful actors giving stellar performances (reminded me a bit of Little Ashes, also surprisingly bloodless movie about passionate artists; also A Single Man, which was gorgeous but somewhat emotionally remote).  Fictionalized account of the relationship between Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys) and his longtime friend Vera Phillips (Kiera Knightley), as well as her husband (Cllian Murphy) and his wife (Sienna Miller), during and after WWII.  Also made me think of The Kids are Alright because all the characters are flawed in ways that make you cringe, so there's really no one to relate to.  Not a bad movie, but not especially compelling.

Frontrunners. (2008) Interesting doc about student union presidential election at Stuyvesant HS in NY, "the most competitive HS in America."  Could have been a little more involving.  The best part is that the actual frontrunner is a little Tracy Flick-ish (from the movie, Election) - a bit tightly wound and officious.  Not a waste of a hour and a half.

The September Issue. (2009) Not as gossipy as promoted, but a pretty interesting movie about Anna Wintour and Vogue magazine.  Couldn't help thinking about The Devil Wears Prada.

Bulletproof Monk.  (2003) Caleb's choice.  Not a bad action film - not too violent and the female lead is portrayed as smart and capable.



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