Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cinematic Potpourri for $200

We've seen a bunch of movies recently and I don't have enough comments to dedicate a whole post to each one.

The Producers: Great movie, lots of fun. Just wish we had seen this on Broadway. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are so talented and funny, that I can imagine live would have been wonderful experience. However, they pointed out in the Behind-The-Scenes interviews that they took advantage of the cinematic aspects versus the limitations on stage. Therefore, they were able to create the feel of those old Hollywood dance numbers. I liked Uma Thurman too ("Ulla dance now.")

Munich: I'm mixed about this movie. While the setting is 1970's, the theme is current. The idea of eliminating the terrorist masterminds to seek avengence for a horrible event, a task which is unending as there will always be successors. More deaths are incurred and the battle continues without an end in sight. Sadly 30 years later, the Israel and Palestinian arguments are still relevant. There's a lot of suspense, explosions and gun violence. Being the wimp that I am, I had my laptop and was doing some other things at those moments. It was actually quite long, which surprised us and then the ending is just there in its ambivalence.

By the way, I was reading other reviews about this, and most are giving this movie a positive rating; it was nominated for Best Picture. However, I found this succinct quote: You cannot make a convincing case against terrorism by showing one graphic scene after another of cold-blooded murder. (Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat)

Maybe that's the real hesitation on my part to warm up to this movie. Violence breeds more violence.

and Melinda, Melinda: We've always snatched up every Woody Allen movie we can find. With his new movies, I guess we think like a lot of people do - we are trying to look for the old Woody Allen in an updated overcoat. The only reason I'm putting these two movies together is because they have the same director and they both have a one-line thesis.

The thesis for "Matchpoint" is one must be lucky in life, everything else will fall into place. It's a serious movie, much like "Crimes & Misdemeanors." However, it turns eerie and unbelievable, yet very believable. The acting is excellent, and there are two pairs of the most sensual lips in the world - Scarlett Johannson & Jonathan Rhys Meyers. When Jonathon is on screen, he owns it. Not so much his character, but him. (Remember him as the coach in "Bend It Like Beckham"?)

The thesis for "Melinda, Melinda" is that one incident in life can be interpreted as a tragedy or a comedy. Allen took this concept and ran with it. A group of intellectual artists discuss this at a restaurant. They throw out a scenario of a woman appearing at the door and interrupting a dinner party. So, the story plays out simultaneously with brief introductions from the artists/chorus. (Actually - it just hit me they were like the Chorus! Remember the Chorus "Mighty Aphrodite"? Nice tool to have in films). So, there are back-to-back scenes of the stories and it is pretty consistent. I liked how certain elements would show up in each depiction (i.e., a certain dark French restaurant, a rusty genie lamp).

Anyway, who would have thought Will Farrell would be in a Woody Allen movie? We were shocked. However, his character was in the comedic interpretation of the scenario and he becomes the neurotic, quick-witted Woody Allen archetype that's always present. He follows the steps of Jason Biggs and Kenneth Branagh who had similar roles in Allen's movies. I saw Amanda Peet as more of the Diane Keaton type of his movies - sexy, charming and slightly insecure.

1 comment:

AppleLina said...

Thanks for your reviews - Matchpoint and Melinda Melinda had fallen off my radar - It's been a long time since I picked up a Woody Allen movie.

As for Munich and Oscar nominated, I was not a huge fan of any of the Oscar nominated films this year. Capote left me wanting more on his life, instad of focusing so much on In Cold Blood - just one of his novels. No mention of Breakfast at Tiffanys??

Regardless, I enjoy your movie reviews (as do many others:)) so keep them coming!