February 23rd, 2009

This weekend Ex-wife rented Blindness with what looked like a good cast (Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover and Julianne Moore). In a word it’s HORRIBLE. I am glad to only have caught the last 45 minutes of this, and thinking I utilized the other hour for better pursuits. This story is a mess. It reminds me a bit of Doomsday (a UK version of an outbreak movie with Scotland this time being isolated and rescuers going in to see who if anyone has survived). Neither movie really works that well but Doomsday was better. There is this uncertain virus in a city that makes people blind and so they are put in isolation. In truth I am not sure where Ex-wife finds these movies, but she strikes me in her selections like a kid playing with her parents’ gun. You don’t know what she’s going to pick, but in the end you know someone will get hurt. Usually it’s me having to sit through another painful selection. She usually hates my picks.


February 9th, 2009

So this weekend I managed to get out to see Taken.   I will preface this by saying that at Gran Torino, Ex-wife saw the preview of this and thought that she would like to see it.  A couple weeks later it is out, and we went to see it.  I did not get out to see an Oscar nominated film.   I highly doubt that this one will fall into that category at next year’s awards.

This is a fairly simple plot, but a departure for Liam Neeson in becoming more of an action spy hero guy (think Jason Bourne who remembers what he does for a living).  Liam was a dedicated government man who let his job rule his life and it cost him his marriage.  He has a daughter who he moved closer to in looking to re-build a relationship with her.   She is a perky, 17yo just finishing high school who doesn’t lack for anything (Mom re-married well).   Anyway, daughter wants to go to Paris with her 19yo friend and ‘stay with adults’ in Paris.   Dad is concerned but begrudgingly agrees to let her go.   Not minutes upon arriving, daughter ends up in trouble and is kidnapped.   I am giving nothing away here that was not already given away in the trailer.   The rest of the movie is spent with Dad trying to track down his daughter through the criminal underworld in Paris.  The big bad Albanians (An Armenian co-worker would be proud) are a criminal syndicate that have a good stronghold in Paris.   Suffice it to say that my difficulty with this movie comes from the level of disbelief required in having Neeson track down the baddies.   Quite frankly I can’t see how even having someone’s name and picture alone allows you to find a guy attending a party in a city the size of Paris.  Or that have a blurry picture in a reflection in a window allows you to find someone at CDG airport in Paris.   That airport is monstrous!   Anyway, I can confirm shrugging my shoulders at the end of it and thinking this was mind candy.   The director seems to have seen a little too much Jason Bourne films and Neeson does his best to act like a spy.   I smiled and laughed at the disdain and disinterest in all the other ‘victims’ in this scheme that Neeson was singularly focused.  I cannot recommend seeing it in the theatre.

January 14th, 2009

So Saturday night I did get out to see Gran Torino and I enjoyed it a great deal.  It was funnier than I had expected, with the racist humour that can be uncomfortable at times.   At the same time, you see this as very much in character for this “grumpy old man” who lives in an old neighborhood in Michigan that is no longer “his people”.   The theatre on Saturday (Colossus) was packed!   Lots of people out to see movies, and I noted at least two more that I need to see (Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire).   I caught the last 30 minutes in the Golden Globes and was pleasantly surprised to see Kate Winslet win two awards (Best Actress and Supporting Actress) and from her reaction and ill-preparedness for the latter she was too!   I had thought that Kriten Scott Thomas is still the likely winner for the Oscar (or Meryl).   It also seems that this Slumdog Millionaire is a movie to go see as well.   It is getting quite a buzz.   So I’ll need to check it out.