We’ve been watching a lot of movies lately. I pretty much despise Blockbuster, but I let my Netflix account lapse when I moved, and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) but I’ve reached the age where it really is too far to drive to Midtown Video. However, we hit the dreaded double-b pretty hard last weekend and came away with a sack full of celluloid. Well, okay, a sack full of DVDs, but the imagery of film as opposed to shiny silver disks is much cooler.
Anyway, this is what we’re watching these days:
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – Violent, upsetting, sad, but absolutely stuffed with excellent actors, including Dianne Wiest, Robert Downey, Jr., a cameo by Eric Roberts (who has aged magnificently), the amazing Chazz Palmintieri and my favorite rising star, Shia LaBeouf. AGTRYS is not always easy to watch, but it is worth trying.
Babel – I only caught about 45 minutes of this, but what I saw was good. Cate Blanchett is luminous. The Japanese schoolgirls thread looked interesting. I’ve heard many good things about this movie. Will have to try again to watch the whole thing.
Marie Antoinette -- To paraphrase Oliver Twist (the musical, not the book): shoes, glorious shoes! It’s a pretty condensed version of actual events, and if you’re expecting history, this is not the right film for you. This is more a psychological examination of a marriage between a 15 year old and a 19 year old, which usually is not a good idea, but certainly not in the hypocritical fishbowl that was 18th century France.
Flags of Our Fathers – the Loved One and I both read the book last summer. It’s a good read. The movie is gently handled by director Clint Eastwood. He also composed the music for the closing credits, and its stoic simplicity is an absolute love-song to the Marines who fought in the Pacific theater. Ryan Phillippe grates on my nerves though. Adam Beach was excellent as Ira Hayes.