Movie post #9

This will be my last movie review post. I’m down to occasional movies now; mostly I’m trying to catch up on everything else I left undone. Many movies remain in my queue.

Wallace and Gromit – The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: An nutty inventor and his overworked dog fight the Were-Rabbit that’s eating all the local vegetables. A couple of you said that I might like this more than the three adventures I saw first. It was better, but still not quite my thing. It wasn’t really as funny as I’d hoped for. As mentioned before, I’ve probably been watching too much Futurama and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, so my taste in animated humor has become rather extreme. I always feel so sorry for Gromit, too. Shannon and I have a theory that Gromit is actually dead and in doggie hell and Wallace is his punishment.

The Darjeeling Limited: Three brothers try to have a “life experience” and become closer friends while traveling through India. Definitely odd. It alternated between bizarre humor and tragedy in a very disorienting way. I think my problem with the film was that it was neither plausible nor completely unhinged; it landed in this weird spot where I wasn’t sure how seriously to take it. I did like the characters involved and thought they were fun to watch.

Bagdad Cafe: A German tourist teams up with a small-town Nevada motel owner to start a magic show. This was totally not what I was expecting, since for some reason I assumed it would be set in Baghdad. I liked the story and the characters, but the pacing was way off on this movie: slow for the first hour, then everything gets crammed into the next 20 minutes. I liked watching the motel owner panic at the sight of lederhosen and German toiletries.

Love Actually: 10 couples form and break romances in a series of interconnected scenes. I loved this. It was delightful and sweet and made me deeply happy. The 10 stories interweave with each other in clever ways–for example, the girl from one couple is neighbors with the girl from another, and the British politician is the brother of a housewife who’s married to a man who’s the boss for a different girl… you get the idea. It made for easy transitions between the stories and everyone connected in different ways. My favorite mini-story was the little kid whose dad helped him tell a classmate that he liked her. Highly recommended.

Much Ado About Nothing: Classic Shakespeare comedy in which trickery and shenanigans keep lovers apart, but then draw them together again. You know, I’ve read a bunch of Shakespeare but somehow hadn’t gotten to this one. I like the tragedies better. Very good film. Kenneth Branagh is extremely talented. No idea if it’s faithful to the original, but I trust Branagh to do a pretty good job of that.

Gregory’s Girl: A shy high-school boy asks his younger sister for help in how to talk to the girl he adores. This wasn’t quite what I had hoped for; maybe if I’d ever been a teenage boy, or a shy person, it would have resonated more. It was sweet, though, and I liked the surprise ending where he gets something other than what he intended and realizes it’s better anyway. I really liked the protagonist and wanted him to find happiness, so it was very satisfying.

Children of Heaven: A Iranian schoolboy loses his sister’s shoes and enters a footrace to win a new pair. This was awesome. It was a great example of plot revolves around characters having something at stake–and that can be anything, as long as it’s critically important to the characters involved. I have never seen such dread and drama over a lost pair of shoes. But when your dad has no money to buy you new shoes, and you’re afraid to tell him that you lost your sister’s only pair, and she can’t go to school without shoes… well, you share your shoes with your sister, even if that means a frantic race for her to get home in the morning and give you back your shoes so you can sprint to afternoon sessions. The twists are very well done (what do you do when you see your missing shoes on another child’s feet… and that child is clearly even poorer than you are?) This was one of my favorites I’ve seen recently.

And with that, I’ll bring the movie reviews to a close. I watched some Simpsons but we don’t need reviews of that. Final stats coming up.

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