Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My 2008 Movie Odyssey - Part XI

Rent (2005)
I saw this on stage several years ago and was interested to see how it translated to film. The story made more sense to me, but the cast singing "Seasons of Love" like at a concert over the opening credits added nothing. The music is amazing with several of the songs capable of getting stuck in my head. However the story is incredibly bleak: a group of broke New York artists try to eke out a living while dying of AIDS. They try to find some hope, but there isn’t any to be found where they are looking. I failed to see how such a bleak musical could capture a generation like Rent did when I saw it, and am no less baffled now. Maybe because my hope lies somewhere else.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Indy is back, and while not better than ever, it is still an enjoyable ride. It starts out slow and a little too silly, but once Indy finally leaves America and starts his globetrotting, things really pick up all through the inevitably effects-filled climax. I was a little nervous when I heard Shia LaBeouf was going to be in it, but at this point it is his best role to date. My biggest disappointment with the film is we never get a really cool bad guy death like the face melting from Raiders or the instant aging from Last Crusade. Cate Blanchett should play more villains.

Unleashed (2005)
It was pretty much what I expected. Jet Li kicked butt. Morgan Freeman was wise and dignified. Bob Hoskins made himself a complete nuisance. Nothing special was learned about life or humanity.

Charlotte’s Web (2006)
It is a sweet story with convincing animals, but the only true highlight of the film is a pair of crows who just cannot figure out the whole scarecrow thing.

The Bank Job (2008)
The fact that it is inspired by actual events left me wondering how much was made up and how much actually happened. The whole thing is a rather enjoyable heist movie, but doesn’t bring anything new to the heist genre.

Coming up next: 2 female stories and 3 fantasies.

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