Posts Tagged ‘movies’
Last night, Cheri and I ventured out to see Clint Eastwood’s new film Gran Torino.
At the center of this movie is Walt Kowalski (played by 78 year-old Eastwood). He is a racist, retired Detroit autoworker who’s just become a widower. He is alienated by his family because he’s just seen as a brutish curmudgeon and he finds himself to be the only American left in his neighborhood filled with Hmong immigrants. After his sheepish teenage neighbor Tao attempts to steal his mint condition 1972 Ford Gran Torino in a forced gang initiation, he slowly begins to befriend the boy and his sister along with the rest of the Hmong community.
Walt is a man that’s always taken care of hostile matters himself. He’s a Korean War veteran who is haunted everyday by decisions he made there. As he begins to confront the hoodlums that are bothering his neighbors, he becomes a community hero. His actions may cause some problems, but he knows to fix them and does so in a very heroic way.
Eastwood’s performance and direction are top notch. I’ve never seen any of the Dirty Harry movies, but I have a feeling that he was channeling some of that performance here. Not only was his dramatic performance outstanding, but his comedic timing was perfect as well — allowing for a number of hilarious comedic relief moments to ease the tensions building in the film.
5 / 5
Amidst the rainy afternoon that was today, Cheri and I streamed Persepolis off Netfix.
Persepolis is an animated tale based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. The movie recounts her experiences growing up during the Iranian Revolution in Tehran, Iran. Through Marjane’s rebellious young eyes, we witness how Iran transformed from a relatively free country to the radical and suppressing country many Westerners view it today.
By using animation that was in the same art style as the novel, the film presents the story flawlessly. The black and white with the ocassional hint of color allowed Marjane’s interpretation of Iran to come to life in a great way. This method reminds me of the sorrowful tones portrayed in other works like Schindler’s List or Maus.
Satrapi’s story made me realize that I had almost no knowledge of Iran’s history. The dichotomy of the fondness she holds for her childhood home versus the spite she feels for the government’s suppresive regime makes me want to explore more about Iran and the Middle East’s rich history.
3.5 / 5
Cheri and I hunkered down tonight to watch the bizarre indie comedy Hamlet 2.
This comedic farce is about a washed up actor who teaches drama at a high school in Tuscon, Arizona. His drama program loses its funding, and he has to go underground to produce his extremely obscene and deeply strange stage musical “Hamlet 2.”
The film stars Steve Coogan (you know, the director from Tropic Thunder) as the weirdo drama teacher. His sad attempts at inspiring his drama students (ala Dead Poets Society and Dangerous Minds) is painful to watch at times and only borderline funny. It felt that Coogan just kept trying too hard to make mediocre writing better than it really was.
The only truly funny part of the movie was during the performance of the rock musical number “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus.” Only in its absurdity and its self-aware campiness was I able to enjoy it. Too bad the rest of the movie wasn’t as funny.
This past weekend, Cheri and I got into a Lost: Season 2 marathon of sorts. I got the first disc of the second season of Lost while Cheri got the first disc of the first season of Veronica Mars. So we alternated watching each show (both of which I would highly recommend). We have gotten so addicted to Lost that after we finished the first disc, we ran out to Giant (a grocery store here in NOVA) and rented discs 2 and 3 from the new Redbox that has been installed there.The Redbox is a vending machine that you can rent DVDs from. They currently only have them in select locations across the US (mostly at McDonalds), but they happen to have just installed them in many Giants in this area. The concept is that you look through their inventory, pick a movie you want to rent, swipe your credit card, and it spits it out. It charges $1 per night and after 25 nights, you own the DVD. You can return the DVD to any Redbox (not just the one you got it from).
I think its a really innovative way to be able to rent DVDs and I think it will come in handy for Cheri and I when we’re in between Netflix movies. The only downside is that it only has new releases that have come out in the last month or two. So if you wanted to rent a gem such as Battlefield Earth, then you would have to go through a traditional movie rental service. Or your local scientology center.
Technorati: television, movies, reviews, lost, veronica mars, redbox
So I found a couple of articles about a French photographer who took pictures of Star Wars figurines and superimposed them into actual images of French scenery and architecture . The result is both outstanding and intriguing. I think these scenes work excellent with the figurines he chose and look better (if not much, much better) than anything from Lucas’ movies. If only this guy was the art director for the film.
And if you like Star Wars, chances are you also like Space Invaders. And since we’re on the topic of space and the french, here is another cool website from a different French photographer. This one took a theater of people and took tons of still images to create a movie recreating the game Space Invaders. It is worth a look .
 Via this MetaFilter thread.
 Via this MetaFilter thread.
Technorati: star wars, photography, internet, french architecture