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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Catching Up On Movies

Now that my production job has ended, and my next one won’t begin for another week, I’ve had time to relax, get to the gym, and check out the latest movies.

Those sixty-plus hour workweeks put the squash on my social life, especially going to the movies. I was usually so tired I was afraid I’d fall asleep and snore rather loudly, or worse yet drool, and wake up with everyone pointing at me whispering, “That’s the man who snored through the whole movie. And look at the drool running down his chin. Disgusting!” I couldn’t risk the humiliation.

Now that I’m well rested I ventured out to the nearby Cineplex to catch up on the current spate of films vying for an Oscar or Golden Globe or Independent Spirit Award. So far I’ve seen three films worthy of the admission price.
First is the wonderfully quirky “Juno” starring the incredibly talented Ellen Page. It’s the story of a teenaged girl (Page) who gets pregnant and decides to give her baby up for adoption. Through the nine months we see her mature and make decisions that are right for her, though they might not be right for someone else. Her journey into womanhood is something to be admired.

The soundtrack features singer/songwriter Kimya Dawson. Her songs are woven intricately into the story, and what might appear as an attempt to sell her songs actually works wonderfully. Dawson’s songs really do add to the story, rather than distract from it like so many pop songs usually do.

Next was the Coen brother’s “No Country For Old Men,” based on the 2003 novel by Cormac McCarthy. This is a powerful and violent film that will leave you questioning life and its dark souls. I loved it. Josh Brolin gives a stunning performance as hunter Llewelyn Moss who stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad and two million dollars cash. He grabs it and goes on the lam. Here’s a bit of dialogue:

Llewelyn Moss: If I don't come back, tell mother I love her.
Carla Jean Moss: Your mother's dead, Llewelyn.
Llewelyn Moss: Well then I'll tell her myself.

And finally there’s “Sweeney Todd,” the film adaptation of the Steven Sondheim musical. Johnny Depp is one of the greatest actors of our time and he dives into the role of the demon barber of Fleet Street with gusto and raw passion. He’s astounding, and his singing voice is near perfection for the character.

Burton uses a lot of black and grey to obtain that Gothic foreboding atmosphere, and when the bright red blood starts pouring from the slit throats it’s all the more shocking.

So there you have it, three totally different films yet each one fascinating in its own right. Don’t miss them.

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