Day by Day cartoon

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Movie Reviews!

I've been exceptionally negligent recently reporting on the movies that the BSU and I have taken in at our local cineplexes. So in an effort to clear out the cobwebs of 2007, I'll tell you a little about some of the shows we've seen.

Most recently, this week in fact, we saw Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Now the spouse was opposed to seeing this film from the get-go, because she knew it was a parody and that's not her favorite type of humor. But, we were at the mall and everything else had already started, I wanted to see it and she gave in. I should have followed her instincts!This is a really lame story, no matter what the professional reviewers have said about it! John C. Reilly plays a pretty believable pop star and musician but the rest of the story is just lame. From early in the movie where Dewie accidently kills his more talented brother, in a play machete fight, the story goes right down hill. The story is about the efforts of Dewey Cox as he fights to make his way into the pop music world, struggles with all the disasters that befell so many rock superstars. Yes, I know the writers were poking fun at Coal Miners Daughter, Ray and Walk the Line, but most of the scenes really fell flat. Some of the scenes were truly funny, watching Dewey open with an all black band in a black night club after the regular band leader is busted up and can't sing was a good scene and the early scenes between Dewey and Darlene, so reminicent of Johhny Cash and June Carter was pretty funny as they played out their attraction for one another. The duet they sing is full of double entendres and was hilarious but the story line falls lame after that. In particular, when Dewey joins the ashram in India and meets the Beatles that are there to learn enlightenment is probably the worst scene in the movie. The Beatles have to keep referring to themselves by name so the audience knows who they are. It turns into a LSD tripped cartoon at that point for a little while and after that Dewey's life gets really ugly, fueled by massive quantities of drugs and misbehavior. In the end, Dewey does find happiness in retirement and getting to know his many, many children and a reunion with Darlene.

So, two thumbs down for this movie, in my humble opinion. The spouse hated it from the beginning and even though I laughed at some individual events, the movie as a whole just didn't work for me. Sorry Dewey!

A movie we did like and I recommend you see is Charlie Wilson's War. This movie is a telling of a real story and a real person, Congressman Charlie Wilson of Texas. Charlie is encouraged by a rich, beautiful Texas socialite to use his congressional committee participation to fund the Afghan rebellion of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Charlie visits Afghanistan, sees the pain of the people there, living under Soviet attack and goes to work with an unruly CIA agent to begin funneling funds, weapons and training to the Afghan rebels trying to reclaim their country. His back room wheeling and dealing requires Russian weapons to be purchased from an Israeli arms dealer with funds routed through an Egyptian envoy andd matched by Saudi Arabian funds. Its a complex story but the intent is to give the Soviets a black eye. With surface to air missiles at the ready, the Afghanis do drive the Soviets out of their country and Charlie Wilson's secret little war is a huge success. But, there is always those laws of unintended consequence and in the closing scenes, Charlie's efforts to rebuild the country are rebuffed and history tells us what happened when those insurgents that fought off the Soviets became the Taliban that ruled the country in the aftermath.

But this is a good movie. Its smart and funny in places and the characters are entertaining and believable. Tom Hanks makes a great playboy Congressman, Julia Roberts could have been born tothe part of a Texas socialite and Phillip Hoffman makes a terrific disgruntled CIA agent. All in all, I loved it, the spouse enjoyed it and it was one of my favorite movies of the year.

American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington as a New York drug baron, Frank Lucas, setting himself up as importer of the highest quality heroin and selling it through fake businesses he establishes for his cousins and nephews. His drugs are more potent and less expensive than every other dealers wares. Russell Crowe plays the police detective who is trying to track down the influx of cheap drugs and uncovers this seemingly upstanding citizen who is polluting the bodies and souls of the people of his own neighborhood.

This is a gritty movie. The story is based upon fact and it doesn't gloss over the uglieness of a heroin infested community. It shows the death and destruction that drug addiction can cause while also displaying the enormous wealth that one person can accumulate at the expense of the poor persons selling their souls to buy their drugs. This movie left me questioning how any person could be so cold and indifferent to the plight of the persons he was so readily selling poison to for his enrichment. American Gangster is another favorite movie of 2007 for me and I hope it wins a bucketful of awards when Oscar time rolls around.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This is your opportunity to speak up...