Monday, January 10, 2011

Movie Monday - 1/10/2011

I present another installment of movie comments.

First, via DVD or Netflix streaming on the iPad:
Paris, TX is a slow-paced movie from 1983 that came up on my Netflix “watch instantly” app. It stars Harry Dean Stanton as Travis – a drifter - who returns to the son he left four years prior in order to try to put his life back together. Nastassja Kinski plays his wife, with whom he also tries to reconnect. It was alright.

The Extra Man is a quirky movie…quirky with a capital K. Kevin Kline plays an eccentric (read quirky) New York City playwright who is a sort of escort for older ladies when they are in need of one to attend a social function. Paul Dano plays a (quirky) writer who loses his Princeton prep school job, and comes to NYC in order to find himself. He starts rooming with Kline, who schools him in the art of enjoying the finer things in life without paying for them. Katie Holmes and John C. Reilly also play quirky characters. It was really good. I loved it.

Temple Grandin is based on a true story about an autistic woman who overcame many obstacles and now happens to be a professor at Colorado State University. (I asked The Kid and he doesn't know her.)  She studies animal behavior and has devised more humane methods of handling and slaughtering animals. The movie chronicles how her mother refused to institutionalize her as a small child and worked hard to get her into school. I had to google her and find out more about her. Many of her research article abstracts are on her homepage.  Dr. Grandin also has a website devoted to autism. She has written many books on the subject. She seems like a fascinating individual. Claire Danes did a marvelous job playing Temple. I really liked it.

To say that I hated I Hate Valentine’s Day is a little too strong. Nia Vardalos wrote, directed and stars in this movie about a woman who loves romance, but hates relationships...until she falls in love. John Corbett, her co-star in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, joins her in this one too. The dialogue is kind of dumb. I didn’t like this movie.

The Ghost Writer is a suspenseful thriller about a guy (Ewen McGregor) who is hired to complete the memoirs of the former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan), who recently came under suspicion of committing war crimes. He is brought in after the guy who was helping the PM previously is suddenly and mysteriously found dead. The writer soon comes to believe that the previous writer was killed for discovering a link between the PM and the CIA, and realizes that his life may also be in danger. It also starred Tom Wilkinson, Jim Belushi, Olivia Williams, Timothy Hutton, Kim Cattrall and Eli Wallach. It was good.

Rabbit Hole with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart is an examination of this couple’s grief after losing their only child. It was raw and heart wrenching. I cannot say enough of Kidman’s performance. I forgot that it was Nicole Kidman up there acting. She was phenomenal. The film is very good and is a must see.

Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Matt Damon and Cecile De France, is a movie examining different people’s take on what happens after we die. Damon plays a once successful psychic, who is trying his best to stop using his powers to make money. De France plays a French journalist who experienced near death in a tsunami and whose life is changed. There is also a twin boy, whose brother is killed, and he is left trying to contact him again. The lives of these characters intersect. It was a very good movie.

Hey!  It snowed here yesterday. 

MK out.

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