March 31, 2006
Brief thoughts on a few good movies I’ve seen recently:
Crash: Very well-made movie with some interesting interactions and a great ensemble cast. I enjoyed it more than Magnolia, which had a similar structure. The racial aspects of the plot were well-done and very interesting, though I disagree with Don Cheadle’s suggestion in one of the special features on the DVD that the movie simply depicted how people really talk about race. That’s certainly not true in my experience. I thought the movie showed an exaggerated version of people’s thoughts, speech, and actions that turns the subtext into text in order to highlight it. That said, I thought it was an effective technique and a good film.
Inside Man: Fun heist picture that keeps you guessing and includes lots of good dialogue. The acting is great and the caper slick and interesting. The whole background explaining the reason for the robbery wasn’t all that interesting to me, but as Dalton Russel (Clive Owen’s character) suggests in the film, the "how" is the important thing. Plus, as always in a good heist picture, you’ve got to have some reason to root for the bad guy. I’d recommend the film, though I don’t know if it needs to be seen in the theater.
The Constant Gardener: Enjoyable thriller / love story with some good twists, though a bit heavy-handed on the "pharmaceutical companies are evil" front. I was able to suspend my disbelief for most of the movie, but lost it a bit when the British nationals, the pharmaceutical company representatives, and the local doctors were all part of the terrible conspiracy and the one person who was incorruptible was the pilot for the United Nations. Still, pretty good flick overall.
V for Vendetta: Loved it. Saw it in IMAX with my brother, which makes it even better. I read the graphic novel before watching the film, and I thought it held up pretty well to the themes. I think the political implications have been overplayed; the filmmakers
clearly had a specific perspective, but the events and setting of the
film lend themselves to many different interpretations. Good action, good acting, and a lot of fun.