Monday, March 08, 2010

Movie Monday 3/8

One of those Mondays. I made a list last night of all the things I wanted to do this week (will I never learn??), then woke this morning feeling awful. I slept poorly, which is unusual for me - the medications I take for my sleep dysfunction normally work well. I got Craig off to school this morning and just collapsed on the couch - sore throat, terrible aches, the works. I tried to get a little work done on the laptop at first, then gave up completely (which was a huge relief). I moved my pillows and blankets to the living room where the sun was shining in and just read my book the rest of the morning, waiting until it was time for my nap. I took an extra-long nap, and I think I'm doing a little better now - we'll see.

Anyway, time for the movies!
  • Ken didn't get back from his trip until late on Friday, so I watched a movie he would have hated, The Sweet Hereafter. I had just read the book last week for my book group and wanted to see how the movie compared. The book was well-written but very depressing - the story opens with a school bus accident in a small town in the Adirondacks that kills many of the town's children...and it never really becomes uplifting or any happier than that! It's told from several perspectives: the bus driver, one of the fathers who lost his twins in the accident, a big-city lawyer who comes to town to stir up interest in a lawsuit, and a teen girl who's left in a wheelchair from the accident and , against her will, becomes the lawsuit's primary witness. I actually liked the movie a little better than the book, though it was still pretty depressing. It was very well-made, though, and captured the best points of the book quite well. In fact, it won an award in the 1997 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for two Academy Awards. Still, Ken would have hated how depressing it was.
  • Saturday night, we watched Elegy together, which was also rather melancholy, though not without its high points. It's about a love affair between a cultured, older professor known for his many romantic conquests, played by Ben Kingsley, and his young, beautiful student, played by Penelope Cruz. It's a very sexy movie, but also very sad. Kingsley's character seems incapable of long-term commitment, even when he realizes he truly loves her. I enjoyed it very much.
Have you seen any good movies lately?

13 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:55 PM

    The sweet hereafter was great, but yes, a sad movie! I watched 'The White Countess' for a second time, having seen it a few years before. I'd recommend it, as the set design and atmosphere are very well done. It has some harsh things in it, since it takes place during WWII, but it not a complete downer.

    I wouldn't recommend the new release of 'Where the Wild Things Are'. We thought it would be a definite feel-good relaxing movie, being supposedly for kids. It was really dark and cynical though, as well as being unfocused and fairly weak on plot. It was kind of violent and menacing as well. So I wouldn't recommend it. Re-reading the delightful original book by Maurice Sendak would be a much more enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. (I read kids books... especially ones that I liked when I was a kid).

    I will keep an eye out for 'Elegy'

    D.

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  2. D -

    Thanks for the recommendation. I looked up The White Countess and added it to my movie list - looks good!

    I just asked my older son (15) today whether he wanted to see Where the Wild Things Are. None of us are too excited about it. I really hate when they take a classic 32-page picture book and make a full-length movie out of it! In my opinion, that never works well. We've never seen any of the Dr. Seuss full-length live-action movies either. You just shouldn't mess with a classic!

    Sue

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  3. Sue, I loved the Sweet Hereafter! Though I saw it before I had kids, I don't think I'd be able to watch it now. Lately I can't watch anything sad, or anything about kids, let alone something sad about kids... so when I do get the chance to see something, it's usually something very light - we recently rented Hancock - silly and hollywood, but fun.

    The next on my list (to rent) is Up in the Air.

    Peryl

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  4. Anonymous9:29 PM

    That's very true. Our cherished memories are built around these classics!

    One that I am looking forward to is Fantastic Mr. Fox. The original book by Roald Dahl was one of my favourites, and I think the new story will be different enough not to seem wrong.
    The on-line features on the movie's website show the detailed environments that the set designers created. It's really impressive! I usually like Wes Anderson's films and would pretty much recommend any one of them, though they are a bit odd for some peoples' tastes.

    Happy movie watching!

    D.

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  5. I watched "Everybody's Fine" today, and, while it was a good movie, it was definitely not as advertised - I went in expecting a "clueless dad bonds with his family" movie, a comedy, and it was... much sadder than that.

    Yesterday was one of those days for me - I had planned on a trip to the mall (for yet another round of computer comparison) - but my vertigo was in full bloom for the first time in a long while. Staying flat in a quiet space was the order of the day. Today it's much better, thankfully.

    So the list moves down a couple of days; it's not the end of the world.

    Hope you are feeling AWAP.

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  6. I also liked The White Countess, Sue, so I'm glad you've added it to your list.

    This weekend, I watched Tumbleweeds, one of a handful of movies that I like to see every couple of years. It's a mother and daughter "on the road" movie. I originally rented it because it stars Janet McTeer who had the lead in the wonderful movie called Songcatcher. McTeer was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Tumbleweeds. She plays a mother who continually makes bad choices in men and when the movie opens, she and her daughter are on the road again, this time moving to California. The script and the acting make this movie special. It's funny and moving.

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  7. Talking of classics, and completely unrelated, I watched (in shifts) The Maltese Falcon this week. It seems every detective movie I have ever seen is derived from this. Completely iconic and Humph is wonderfully hard-bitten. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I hope you start seeing some improvement soon Sue. Keep resting!

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  8. Peryl -

    I'm with you on bad things happening to kids. We used to watch Law & Order SVU but too many of the plots involved kids - we just couldn't watch it anymore!

    I don't normally go for action flicks, but I like Will Smith. I just watched a trailer for Hancock, and it looks pretty good - I think our boys would enjoy it, too. I'll add it my list!

    Up In the Air is high on my list, too!

    Sue

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  9. D -

    I've heard great things about the Fantastic Mr. Fox, too - it's on my list!

    Never That Easy -

    Thanks for reminding me of Everybody's Fine! I liked the promos when it was in theaters but had forgotten about it. Added that one to my list! Hope you're better soon, too!

    Toni -

    Tumbleweeds looks great!! Mother-daughter movie AND a road trip movie? Sign me up! I'm wondering whether Ken would like it,too, or whether I should watch it on his next trip, but it's definitely on my list!

    Jo -

    I've never seen The Maltese Falcon! I'll have to check with Ken. I love to see old classics.

    Sue

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  10. I think Ken would like Tumbleweeds because Tony did. There's nothing sentimental about this mother-daughter relationship. They are both live wires!

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  11. I have always been a big film fan, probably since before I was a teenager. I think I get this from my dad - we often chat about films - because I can remember that he took my brother and me to see three films at the cinema in one day.

    This week I have watched The Hurt Locker, The Wrestler, Wall Street, Heat and In The Electric Mist. Watched Gone Baby Gone with my wonderful wife on Sunday- highly recommended. I have seen Elegy and enjoyed it very much.

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  12. ps: K-Pax is on in the background as I read through some blogs.

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  13. Hi, Chris -

    Glad to see we have another movie buff among us! We liked K-Pax a lot, Wall Street is a classic, and Gone Baby Gone was excellent (good twist at the end). Hurt Locker's on my list, too - did you hear it won the Best Picture Oscar this week? I'll have to check out the others on your list - thanks for the tips!

    Sue

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