Movies

Just finished my third Netflix in a few days. Saw Closer, then The Madness of King George, then Ran. I recommend them all.
So Closer was interesting. I liked how it cycled around, the interesting characters, how they interacted. Natalie Portman’s is perhaps the most intriguing. Julia Roberts plays an incredibly submissive pushover who is nonetheless fascinating. Clive Owen is intriguing as a complete jerk who is incredibly smart at manipulating people. And Jude Law surprised me, he was really good, playing a charming character who does despicable things, rises and falls. And lord, that kiss with Julia Roberts. I’m still weak in the knees just watching.
Madness was interesting too. I missed a lot of the dialogue, as typical with me with British-language flicks, but got enough to go along. Plus I knew very little of the background history, except from what I picked up watching Black Adder III. Evidently, King George III (the one who lost the Americas) had spells of madness during which his pee was blue, and now they believe he suffered from porphyria. Back then the most sophisticated treatment was to strap him to a metal chair and examine his poop. Helen Mirren plays George’s queen, and they have a sweet relationship, not what you’d expect. Rupert Murdoch beautifully plays a repulsive Prince Regent.
I really enjoyed Ran. It’s by Kurosawa, and a Japanese version of King Lear. It’s a huge epic pageant of color and movement and balance, beautiful to behold. And the twist to the story of Lear is compelling. In this, Lear’s tragic flaw is the war and bloodshed he wrought in securing his kingdom, and in passing that bloodlust on to his victims and his sons (except the youngest, of course). I loved how Kurosawa illustrated the youngest son’s love for his father–he had him cut branches off a tree and set them up in the ground to give his father shade while he napped. The final tragic image is of a blind, abandoned floutist atop a ruined castle in front of a red sunset.
Can’t wait for the next in my queue: Sideways, Dead Man, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. What’s next in your queue, and what should I add to mine?

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2 Responses to Movies

  1. Stephanie H. says:

    Good question. Although the next few things in my queue are fairly embarrassing… Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, Dinner for Five, and Legally Blonde 2.
    We’ve had problems finding good movies lately. We loved House of Flying Daggers, but I think you’ve already seen that.
    I want to see all of the movies you mentioned above, but Alex doesn’t really like depressing movies. And it seems that most “good” movies are depressing. Do you think Closer would be too much of a downer? Any recommendations? It’s not like we only watch comedies, but we avoid movies where the only point is how miserable everyone is. For instance, we loved The Station Agent, in which there are several tragedies, but the main point of the story is the friendship between these “misfits.” If you haven’t seen that I would highly recommend it!

  2. sm00bs says:

    I don’t do NetFlix, although I’ve considered it. I’ve never seen those three movies, either. I don’t believe I’ve seen the first two that are next up in your queue, but I have seen The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and vaguely recall that I loved it. It’s been roughly ten years or so since I’ve seen it. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend Identity (as well as any other John Cusack film, but this one is different). Monster is another excellent flick (I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but wound up loving it). The Life of David Gale was very good (I’m a huge Kevin Spacey fan, though). The Jersey Chronicles (Kevin Smith’s films minus Jersey Girl) are great, and I know not everyone’s seen them. Of course, you may not appreciate this one, but Escanaba in da Moonlight is incredibly hilarious to anyone who has lived in or near Michigan. In other news, I’ve finished the blue baby blanket and have moved on to another one, done in horrible Red Heart yarn in a nice green color (picked out by B, of course, and only because of the color). This one is going to be in a basket weave. I was going to take a Christmas stocking clas with Trudie, but I really can’t decide. It’s today at 3pm I think. How’s the knitting coming along?

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