Monday, April 19, 2010

Movie Monday 4/19

Yes, Movie Monday returns, though we're still in catching-up-from-vacation mode!  We only watched one movie this weekend because we've been trying to get caught up on all the episodes of our favorite TV shows that we missed while we were gone.  With some shows, it doesn't matter if you miss a week or two, but for those with an ongoing storyline, we wanted to catch up. 

The problem is that we are still living in the dark ages with TV technology - using a VCR to record shows.  My mom got us a Tivo for Christmas, but we really don't want to start up yet another monthly bill, so we haven't set it up yet.  So, I programmed the VCR to tape The Amazing Race while we were gone (an awesome show we watch with the kids), but we have to rely on watching the rest of the missed shows on the computer.  The problem with THAT...we watch on the computer in the office and I can't lie on the couch!  Watching a TV program over a wireless connection on the laptop just doesn't work well.

So, anyway, we've been sitting in the office after the kids go to bed, catching up on Lost (first priority!), Flashforward, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice.  We still have a ways to go, but we're almost ready for this week's shows!

We did watch one movie this weekend:
  • Infamous, one of two movies that came out in the same year that covered the exact same topic: the story of Truman Capote researching and writing In Cold Blood.  We watched Capote a few years ago.  Even though this was essentially the same story - a few details were interpreted differently - we still really enjoyed this interesting and sometimes funny movie.  For starters, Capote was fascinating, as was the story behind In Cold Blood (a brutal murder in Kansas). Also, I thought Sandra Bullock did a terrific job playing Harper Lee in this movie (the author of To Kill a Mockingbird was Capote's close childhood friend; she based her character Dill on him).  As a nonfiction writer myself, I find the story of Capote writing In Cold Blood fascinating.  With this book, he created a whole new genre, Creative Nonfiction: true stories written like a novel.  I recommend both Capote movies (though probably not in the same weekend!).
One other movie-related observation Ken and I have made recently...  Have you seen the ads for the newly released Death at a Funeral in US theaters?  It's a total copy of a British movie with the same title - which was absolutely hilarious, by the way!  We saw an ad on TV recently, and Ken and I looked at each other in disbelief.  It looks like it's the exact same movie, remade with African American actors instead of white British actors.  I can't tell if the script is the same, but from the ads, it looks identical.  Why would you remake a recent movie that was great in the first place?  We saw another example, too.  A recent DVD included a preview for Mostly Martha, an Italian movie that looked startling familiar - again, the exact same storyline as a recent American film, No Reservations (which I reviewed here recently).  Now, in this case, maybe the original was in Italian (I'm not sure), so an English-language remake might make sense.  Anyway, a strange trend.

Have you seen any good movies lately?


Renee said...

Joel and I keep saying we are going to rent a movie...and then we are too tired to think about watching one for 2 hrs so we don't! I did watch Under The Tuscan Sun again this Sat. I love that movie! Joel rented me Mamma Mia during the second week of my would have been better if it was NOT a musical....lots better. Strange, but beautiful scenery.
Joel and I tape any shows that are on at 9pm that we like and watch them other nights...At 9pm we are BOTH heading upstairs most nights! Is that cuz we ae old...or sick? Hmmmm

Sue Jackson said...

Renee -

I totally understand - we are headed to bed at 9:30 most nights, though we do make an exception for both Lost and Grey's Anatomy. Anything on after 10, we tape and watch later, too!


David said...

I was one of the biggest "LOST" fans for the first season and most of season two, but I think it's going drastically down hill. I feel like almost everything since has been filler, and have mostly given up on it.

I have seen some really good movies recently -- "Man on Wire", a documentary about a Frenchman who tight-wire-walked between the tops of the World Trade Center towers; (500) Days of Summer, one of the most fun and inventive comedies in years (it was such a hit that the director has now been hired to do the next in the Spiderman franchise); "Adam", about a young man with Asperger's trying to make it in the "real" world; and "Moon", a great indie sci-fi flick about a man alone on the moon for several months. Seen any of those, Sue?

David said...

P.S. - Sue, I was so inspiredby your blog that I decided to create my own. Hope you'll have a read sometime.

Toni said...

I liked Infamous too. It was odd that two movies about Truman Capote were made almost at the same time. But then your observations about Death at a Funeral and Mostly Martha are along the same lines. I agree that the British Death at a Funeral was hilarious. What I've read is that the new one has the same basic plot but with the jokes changed to fit the setting which I think is Los Angeles. If I recall, Mostly Martha was in German but it may have been in Italian. I remember being disappointed in No Reservations even though I liked the actors because it wasn't as subtle or nuanced as Mostly Martha. At the time I thought that had I seen it before seeing Mostly Martha, I would have enjoyed it.

I recommend An Education which just came out on DVD. Carey Mulligan was nominated for Best Actress and deservedly so. I was fascinated by the movie because at the end, I felt empathy for all of the characters, even those who hadn't always behaved well.

GlasgowChris78 said...

My list for this week: JFK, Dead Man Running, Basic Instinct, Running The Sahara and The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Oh, and I even went to the cinema to see Clash Of The Titans 3D. It was good and I enjoyed it but it gave me a blinding headache. Not as many as usual because there has been lots of football on the telly!

Sue Jackson said...

David -
Wow, those all sound really good! I don't think we've seen any of them, but I'm always on the lookout for suggestions! I wasn't sure if we'd seen Adam, but I checked it online, and it's too new - we saw another romantic comedy about a man with Asperger's (can't remember its title!) - also very good. Congratulations on your new blog - I will check it out!

Toni -
I felt the same way. I could tell just from the preview that Mostly Martha was probably a better movie. I hate to feed into foreign stereotypes of the US, but I do think that when Hollywood remakes a foreign film, it loses its subtlety! Thanks for the recommendation - I;ll add An Education to my list.

Chris -
Wow, a movie in the theater! That's rare for us. Sorry it gave you a headache. The others sound good - I'll have to look into them.


Anonymous said...

'Caprica' marathon on Saturday, my couch day. I had mixed reactions to it, but there were a lot of interesting ideas. I heard about 'Moon', it looks worth seeing.