Monday, February 7, 2011

Movie Monday - 2/7/2011

Hey, hey, hey....How is everyone today? 

Can y'all believe the weather last week?  Kids around here had four days off from school.  The Husb and I were on a trip on the west coast; so, we missed all the hoopla.  I am hearing rumors that more weather may be in store for us this week.  Here's hoping...

When one drives from Tejas to the west coast, there is ample iPad-streaming movie time.  I did identify two limiting factors:  1.  It is better to watch when it is darkish...the sun really adds that glare dimension to the screen.  2.  3G works great when there are cell towers nearby...but if not...(Can you say "Mojave Desert?")  And cell towers on the AT&T network....well...(Can you say "I love Verizon?")

What I watched:

Solitary Man, starring Michael Douglas, is a study of how actions have consequences. Douglas plays Ben Kalmen, a former very successful businessman who used to have it all. He had gone to the doctor one day and instead of having further tests to investigate an abnormality that his doctor saw, he chose to ignore it and assumed that he didn’t really have much time left. Further, he decided that he would live out the rest of his life by acting on his impulses, which caused him to lose everything. Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and Danny DeVito also star in this film. The last scene determines if you are a cynic or a romantic. It was good.

Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover, John Cena and Devon Graye star in Legendary. Cal is tired of being bullied at school and joins the wrestling team. He uses his participation to try to reunite his mother (Clarkson) with his older brother, Mike (Cena), who left home after their father was killed in an automobile collision. Mike was quite the wrestling star in high school and college; so Cal goes after him to get some training. It was predictable, but sweet.

In The Pope’s Toilet, Beto makes his living smuggling goods across the Brazilian border to Uruguay. It is 1988 and the Pope is set to visit his small town. His friends and neighbors take out loans to set up stands to feed the estimated throngs of people expected to travel to see the Pope, but Beto has a better idea. All these people eating and drinking will soon need a place to go to the bathroom; so, he sets out to build the perfect enclosed outhouse.  He intends to charge a fee and make his fortune. The movie, in Spanish with English subtitles, was not as funny as the name or the premise may imply, but it was good.

The Art of the Steal is an interesting documentary about the art collection of Albert Barnes, a physician who became a millionaire in the pharmaceutical industry in the early part of the 20th Century. With his money, he started collecting Post-Impressionist paintings that were collectively worth billions at the time of his death in 1951. Because he didn’t have much regard for the Philadelphia elite and art snobs, he started the Barnes Foundation to keep his collection private. When he died, he thought he had an iron-clad will that prevented the sale, loan or otherwise removal of the art from the Foundation’s walls. He also thought he had chosen the right custodian for the Foundation. It really exposed the greed and political shenanigans that resulted in the violation of his wishes.

Paris, starring Juliette Binoche and Romaine Duris, is about two siblings who turn to each other (in a non-sexual way) when he finds out he has a heart condition and must alter his lifestyle, and she, being a single mother, is tired of being alone. There are several characters in this movie, in French with English subtitles, whose lives are interconnected. It was alright.

While in San Fran, we were able to catch a movie at the Sundance Kabuki Theater.  I appreciated their feature of allowing you to pick your seats.  That was a special touch.  I think it would come in handy if the film was really popular or if you wanted to see it at a busy time.  (Did you hear that Angelika?)

Biutiful is a dark film starring Javier Bardem. In Spanish with English subtitles, this movie is set in Barcelona, Spain. Bardem plays Uxbal, a divorced father, who finds out that he has terminal prostate cancer. I found it interesting that such a young man had stage four prostate cancer, but I guess it can happen. Anyway, he sets out to put his affairs in order, including atoning for the fact that his occupation – an underground criminal – prays on those less fortunate. It was alright, but with a running time of roughly two-and-a-half hours, it was about an hour too long. Javier Bardem gave a good performance though.

MK out.

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