I'm continuing to watch movies, inching closer to my year-end goal. Here is my review of 3 recent movies I've seen. Enjoy!
Everything Is Illuminated
I thought this movie was just ok, however, it got better as it progressed. One thing I don't like about movies is when they take the first 5 minutes to show credits. This movie almost lost me there. But I finished and the most memorable character, actually, is the grandfather (of the Russian guide). Elijah Wood's character definitely reached his goal of finding more information about his own grandfather, but I think the most growth came from the Russian guide's grandfather. In a metaphor or simile or whatever, the first half of the movie is to my attention opposite of what the second half is to my attention (in other words, I very much liked the first half, but was bored with the first half). It left me feeling emotional, happy for the grandfather, sad in a way for him as well, and wondering what will happen next for the Russian guide and for Elijah Wood's character. If I recall correctly, there were a few curse words, and little to no violence. This movie is one I would watch again, although I may fast forward to the halfway point.
Let The Right One In
Reminds me of the way I felt when I watched M. Knight Shamalan's "The Village". Not much goes on, but there is a lot happening. You know what I mean? I am not one to jump at the chance to see a vampire movie, but thought I'd give this one a chance. It's a Swedish film, and I'd recommend leaving the Swedish language on, and using English subtitles. If you use the English voiceover's, it is corny. By hearing the original language, you are better able to understand the characters emotion and the overall feel of the dialogue, even while reading the English at the bottom of the screen. So about the movie itself, it was strange, interesting, tense at moments, funny at times, and very memorable. The final scene was pretty great. Usually movies I watch build up to a climax, then spend the final few scenes wrapping everything up after the main characters problems are solved. But this movie is different in that the climax, the problems and the solutions are all throughout the movie. But just make sure and watch all the way to the end, and you will see what I mean. It seemed as though the filming was pretty basic, in that there were no huge explosions or enormously expensive special effects. But it was still very good. Most of it was at night (go figure a vampire movie would happen at night!) and the shots themselves were beautiful, set in a snowy town, with subtle lighting and a clean crisp picture. One of my favorite things is when a movie shows not the action happening, but shows the results of the action as it is happening, you know what I mean? Well, watch especially the final scene and you'll understand what I mean. It leaves some up to the viewers imagination and I think that's a great way to shoot a film. Overall, this movie was memorable in an uncomfortable, yet intriguing and thought-provoking kind of way. Watch it and you too may see how human vampires really are.
The Sure Thing
John Cusack must have been the "teen lover boy" of choice in the 80's. Here he is again playing the role of a guy in love (or lust in this case). Personally, I liked "Say Anything" better than this film because it focused more on the details of the developing relationship. The Sure Thing was good, not great. And here's why: it was mediocre on drawing out the side of me that would normally cheer for the protagonist. I wasnt necessarily compelled to side with him, and I dont mean I would have sided with someone else instead, I just mean I didnt feel any connection with his character. My favorite character in this film, and I wish he showed up on screen earlier in the story was the female character's boyfriend. He was extremely nerdy, uptight, and square. So much so that for her to stay with him instead of John Cusack's character would have seemed unbelievable, literally. If you have seen "The Notebook," one thing that may have stood out with you is the comparison between the two men competing for the girl. I loved how the film presented both men as good, hard-working, honest, decent men, more like a real-life dilemma. I loved that about "The Notebook," and inversely, what I may be most concerned about with The Sure Thing. It was the easiest of decisions for her to choose John Cusack over the dweeb. So there was not much mystery as to what was going to happen between them. All in all, this was worth watching, at least to see more silly 80's trends and laugh at the fashion that was popular during this decade (although there are better movies for that kind of thing- ie. Girls Just Want To Have Fun... which also has truckloads of great one-liners).