Monthly Movies 04/08

Juno (13 04 08) – As predicted, this movie is likable. Lots of Canadian actors too. I enjoyed all of the performances and the script did have a lot of heart. Sweet and enjoyable little flick.
I am Legend (13 04 08) – Slow stuff, but people watch this for Will Smith. This is actually my first Will Smith movie in a long time. It’s well shot, and I liked the dog as I usually do.
A Room with a View (13 04 08) – I’m fairly understanding of Andrew Davies’s scripts and his lack of subtext at times, but he does not do well with Forster. While it wasn’t all bad, it was boring and just not as good as the Merchant-Ivory version. The most annoying thing was he changed the ending to one that felt empty and just weird.
Dan in Real Life (14 04 08) – It feels like ages since I’ve seen a typical rom-com. This was such a cute one too. I actually did chuckle a few times, and I adored the Steve Carell/Julie Binoche pairing. I like how romantic tension is played, the setting, and just the simplicity of a nice adult romance. Underrated and sweet.
Lars and the real girl (15 04 08) – Well, this was fine. Nothing too extraordinary, but Ryan Gosling does make this movie. I’ve been watching RG since his TV days (so about 10+ years), and he has always had the screen charisma. Patricia Clarkson and Emily Mortimer also did well in this. I hope EM gets more work; I warmed to her from Match Point on.
The Swan (15-6 04 08) – This is a 1956 film directed by Charles Vidor starring Grace Kelly, Alec Guiness, and Louis Jordan. It’s a bit slow moving, but the ending is a nice twist. There’s the right humor, and Grace Kelly plays a very convincing shy and awkward Princess. Harder to discern what AG was going for in his immature Prince character, but Louis Jordan is as gorgeous and romantic as always.
Becoming Jane (19 04 08) – I avoided watching this for the longest time because I had heard iffy reviews based on its fictionalization of Ms. Austen’s life. It had a trite Hollywood ending, but the best thing about this is James McAvoy. I am really glad his star is on the rise, and he is one of those actors that can make a movie so much more bearable. His acting and screen charisma is off the charts.
Hable con ella (Talk to her) (24-5 04 08) – REVIEW
Across the Universe (25 04 08) – I love the Beatles. I like interpretations of their songs, and the only good thing about this musical is that some of the numbers (Let it Be, I want you so bad) are well done. It is also well shot, but it is clear they wrote a story around the music. I felt absolutely nothing for the characters. You never get a sense of them at all, and my emotions rang from indifference to annoyance. The characters didn’t even seem to care about each other either, and there were some irksome plot holes. I’m not really keen on any of the actors either. It has no real humor like Moulin Rouge or warmth like Singin in the Rain or the Astaire/Rogers movies. This is how you should not do a musical. As a result, this movie was extremely slow even though I knew all the songs and sang along. It was trippy and well shot, but it was far more tedious.

Rewatched Films:
Moulin Rouge – I own this film; it was given to me by friends for a birthday years ago. It was my third DVD I think, and I’ve watched it a couple of times since. I’m not in the habit of rewatching or rereading many things, but I wanted to watch this again after Across the Universe which has nothing (except the Beatles song) on MR. If Baz Luhrmann decided to do a musical with solely Beatles songs, it would be funny, have some warmth, and a decent (albeit melodramatic) romance. It’s sad for me to admit this, but this truly seems to have been Nicole Kidman’s career height. Right after this movie, she went on to do The Hours (which I also loved), Dogville (I am never watching a Lars Von Trier, but she was good in it), The Others (great reviews; have not seen), Birth (same), but lately, her choices have not been great. I am cautiously optimistic of Australia coming out this November because it is Kidman reunited with Baz. I am only seeing it it because it is a Baz film. Back to MR, based off Dumas’s Camille (I only realized this until after seeing George Cuckor/Greta Garbo’s Camille), this is a fun movie. The songs have been on my playlists for years; I like all of the musical numbers and interpretations. Another thing that AtU lacked was charismatic acting. All the actors in MR seem to have fun and really get into it. Kidman is incredibly zany in the beginning, and I have rarely disliked Ewan Macgregor or Jim Broadbent in anything. Maybe I shouldn’t have rewatched this because now I’m more annoyed by AtU.

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