Sunday, November 25, 2007

Titanic

Today, in honor of my birthday, I saw Titanic.

And no, I'm not talking about the DVD version—I mean I saw it on the big screen again. In fact, on the biggest screen I've ever seen it.

My local Cinerama is having a 70mm series and today they just happened to be showing this film, which I happen to love.

And you know what? It ages well.

Although I know every twist and turn that's going to occur (from my original repeated viewings of it when it was released nearly a decade ago), the suspense, romance and sadness are all still present in heavy doses.

I suppose this means the heart really does go on...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

August Rush

This morning I saw August Rush, starring Freddie Highmore and Keri Russell.

If it weren't for Robin Williams, this may have been a great movie.

At the heart of the film is little Evan Taylor (Highmore), an orphan with an incredible gift for music who believes his long-lost parents will find him by "hearing" him. He's placed in a miserable NY home for boys and runs away only to fall into the trap of "The Wizard" (Williams), an evil transient that pimps out young musicians only to reap the financial benefits.

Meanwhile Lyla (Russell) is a heartbroken cellist that never got over the supposed loss of her infant son (and his father, whom she had a passionate one-night-stand with). The boy's father Louis (Meyers) is a guitarist-turned-suit who left the pain of NY behind for a mundane life in San Francisco.

As you can imagine, there are many cheesy scenes that lead up to the predictable, if not sweet ending. But woven into them are great performances from Russell, Meyers, Highmore and Terrence Howard, who has a minor role as a social worker.

Robin Williams' awful overacting ultimately ruins the film, which with its message of music as a saving grace, could have been so much more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Enchanted

Today I saw Enchanted, starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey.

I chose this film to kick off my holiday weekend because despite how silly the trailer looked, it's been well-reviewed and I like both of the lead actors.

The first, Amy Adams, is grossly underrated (I think she was robbed of an Oscar® for Junebug) and always adorable, therefore she was the perfect fit for the role of Giselle, the princess from the faraway land that gets catapulted into New York City after trusting that wicked queen from Snow White on her wedding day (long story).

Enter McDreamy himself to save the day as Robert, the handsome divorce lawyer/single father, whose awkward meet-cute (on a billboard) with the princess leads to...well...a fairy tale sort of love.

What I liked about the film was the acting (Susan Sarandon is great as the wicked queen, in addition to the leads) and the heart. It is a good, old-fashioned love story with an innocence that is rare in current cinema.

What I disliked was how dumb they made Edward (Giselle's supposed prince) and how they resorted to bathroom humor in a few places with Pip (the chipmunk), which took the overall sparkle off of the finished product.

Note to filmmakers: it doesn't have to be gross to be funny to kids.

That's all. Dempsey is hot and Adams is precious. Go see it for them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bee Movie

This morning I saw Bee Movie, featuring the voices of Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger.

What a breath of fresh air!

Full disclosure: I'm not a huge animation fan. In fact, save for The Simpsons Movie, I don't think I've seen an animated film in the theater since the anniversary of Yellow Submarine, so seeing this today was somewhat out of the ordinary for me. I'm glad I followed my instinct and ignored my self-imposed snobbiness though, because I really would have missed out on something great if I'd passed it up.

The story begins with Barry (Seinfeld) graduating from beehood and preparing to enter the job force, which basically consists of making honey exclusively. Adventure-seeker that he is, before he finalizes his career choice, he takes a trip outside the hive to see what the human world is like. While he's there (in present-day New York City), he falls in love with a human, Vanessa (Zellweger), and discovers the travesty that is bee slavery as he flies past the honey aisle at the grocery store.

What commences is somewhat of an animated genius that includes all of the components of a live-action Hollywood film: a sweet romance, courtroom drama, suspenseful action sequences, surprising celebrity cameos and a wink of an ending.

The voices are distinct (who could miss Chris Rock as the cunning mosquito?) but not at all distracting. Particularly great is John Goodman as the fat human defense attorney. And what's more, there are just as many jokes for the adults to laugh at as there are for the kids.

Go see this one in the theater—the bright yellow hues of the 'sets' cast a sunny glow on the whole production, which is nothing short of charming.

Friday, November 02, 2007

American Gangster

Today I saw American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

It was the topic of Cinebanter #42, which is available here.