Tuesday, January 08, 2008
a few films

I saw four films over the weekend, all on DVD's....Three through the kindness of a friend who had them on DVD because of The 'Awards' Season, and one that I rented from Netflix, also part of The Awards seasons "For Your Consideration"......The first film was "A MIGHTY HEART", the movie about the kidnapping and subsequent death of journalist Daniel Pearl, adapted from the book by his widow, Marianne, as played by Angelina Jolie, in another very beautiful performance....One can sometimes forget what an extremely talented actress this young woman is, because of all the tabloid excess known as "Brangelina", that has taken over everything including some of our greatest newspapers.....But, a fine fine actress she is, and her rendering of the amazing Marianne Pearl proves this, once again. Anyone who has never seen the HBO Film "Gia", should rent it and be stunned by the bravery of this glorious actress. "A Mighty Heart" is a fine picture and should be seen if you haven't seen it already.

The second picture I saw was"STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING", a small gem of a movie with an stunning performance by the wonderful Frank Langella. One can only hope he will win a lot of awards for this beautiful beautiful portrayal of a published novelist in his 70's, still trying to find his way. The three other actors performances are very worthy of mention, particularly the fantastically talented Lauren Ambrose of "Six Feet Under" fame....and the underrated Lili Taylor, as well as the very subtle-acting of the attractive Adrian Lester, too. This is a slow moving, take-your-time-film......It is in no hurry to move quickly from image to image....it lingers on 'the moments' which are filled with subtext when just looking at Langella's face and body language, and the same can be said of watching Lauren Ambrose, as well, in her very thoughtful sensitive performance.....I found it a very moving film. And the interesting relationship that develops between Frank Langella's character and Ambrose' character is handled most carefully and realistically, too.....This is a film very much worth seeing.

Third, is a film called "RESERVATION ROAD"....a strange mixture of cliches and implausible twists and turns, which are somewhat predictable after the 'set-up' is handed to us in those first 10 or 15 minutes.....Some very talented actors---Jaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connolly, Mark Ruffolo, Mira Sorvino, etc.....cannot save this film from itself. Is it watchable? Very! Is it good? Not Very!The fourth film was Todd Haynes "I'M NOT THERE".....which I personally found rather pretentious and really do not know have a clue as to what this writer/director is trying to say with this film....This is the film that usesBob Dylan's Music and 6 or 7 sort-of versions of Bob Dylan-like-characters, including Cate Blanchett looking a lot like Dylan, but she is not Dylan, nor is anyone else in the film who sort of looks like him, Dylan....OY! Maybe it is me, but I could not continue to watch after slogging through a good hour of this.....I understand some people think it is a 'masterwork'....well, if it is, I did not get it, at all. This film went right by me.....Has anyone out there seen this? What do you think about it and/or about the three other films, if you have seen them?

More To Come.......







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27 Comments:
had this to say:

That is quite a mixed bag of reviews! I must say I was intrigued by the Dylan film when I first heard about it, and particularly in Cate Blanchet's portrayal of him being a fine actress and a woman. The film bout the author sounds very interesting and I couldn't agree more about Angelina Jolie - it is easy to forget how good an actress she is with all the media spin and I don't believe the blockbuster type movies stretch her talents enough.

BTW - I watched the clip of Michael Jeter and it was a lovely speech. Thanks for letting me know :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 1:33:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Oh, I wish I had the time to watch all these movies!!!! I have seen snippets of the Dylan one with Cate Blanchett, and although it seems rather fascinating, I was guessing it might be a bit ott.

It was nice to hear you mention the wonderful Lili Taylor - a great actress imho, who is very much underrated! I have seen her in quite a few films, and love her work, she has been acting for many years.

Nice to read your reviews!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 2:01:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Love reading your reviews!! I've avoided A Mighty Heart because I think it would just rip mine out. ;)

And thanks for the warning about Reservation Road (almost put that on my Netflix queue) and I'm Not There. Frankly, that one looked pretentious to me.

I'll check out the Langella film!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 3:29:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

well someone is gearing up for the award season! lol.. I'm afraid we are in for "television disappointment" from the strike though..

anyway, I haven't seen any of these movies yet, but you always are "right on" with your reviews!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 4:38:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for your reviews, Naomi!
I noted on my agenda to rent some of them. Many hugs!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 5:39:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I always love to hear your take on films and shows~

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 6:04:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've been dying to see "A Mighty Heart" even though Angelina the person drives me nuts. Angelina, the actress, is great. I have seen "Gia" soooo many times and she's amazing!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 7:24:00 AM PST 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

Th Langella film sounds an absolute must. I wish I saw more films - used to be two a week and now its far too rare. I watched 'The Others' wit Nicole Kidman on TV last night and then switched to doing the cross-word. Not a good sign. Thank you for the helpful reviews Naomi

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 9:05:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I enjoying reading your reviews on these movies Naomi. I had not heard of any of them. I so seldom watch movies. I do think Angelina Jolie is a good actress!

Someone told me that "Juno" was a good movie. I have been thinking of going to see it. It's been a good while since I went to the movies!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 9:23:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't seen any of them, Naomi. I liked Angelina along time ago in the movie about having a breakdown and being hospitalized with some other girls, but I can't remember what it was called.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 1:37:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have not seen any movie in a while, Naomi. But I do want to see the movie about Pearl.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 3:27:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

thanks for the reviews. I will keep my eyes open for the Langella one as it sounds like a film I'd enjoy. I don't know if I could handle Mighty Heart given it's so upsetting still to think of a fine young man like that meeting such a tragic end. I need to get a membership in Netflix I am thinking as so many of those films don't show up at Hollywood video.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 3:31:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for the thumbs up (and down).

I haven't forgotten you; I've had a nasty cold since the day after Christmas. Finally it seems to be leaving.

Hope you're well.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 4:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Gia is a movie that stayed with me, the tragic story of the 80s model w/ AIDS (one of the first publicized cases, I think).

I had a hard time sitting through the ending, but I'll tell you, I don't think I've seen a better performance by Angeline Jolie, and she was a very young actress at the time.

Great reviews, Naomi. You've inspired me to try Netflix.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 4:51:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

A Mighty Heart sounds great. Jolie is a terrific actress and I'm sure I would enjoy it...

I'd only see that one with Jaoquin Phoneix, well only because it has Jaoquin in it! *heehee* (Very easy on the eye on my opinion.)

I've watched Dylan films before and they've been annoying and this one doesn't look like an exception to my rule...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 7:04:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

LOVED reading your reviews. I'm very interested in seeing the Langella movie......had never heard of it. I'm really interested in seeing the Kite Runner (just finished reading the author's latest novel....it was unrelenting and beautifully written) and Atonement. Juno too! I havent seen that yet.
As for the Dylan film, friends have seen it......anytime I've heard it discussed, the topic is dropped quickly after comments about Blanchet.

I did see Charlie Wilson's War with Tom Hanks. It was an interesting story......but it was a so so movie I thought. Given the cast and the material....it had much more potential.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 12:39:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thank you for visiting and commenting about Blessing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I really want to see Reservation Road. Anything with Joaquin in it is usually a good film. I didn't want to see Angelina's movie because I thought it ridiculous a woman of that race didn't get that part. Many people were unhappy about that...I like her in movies but I just couldn't stomach her in that role. The last one I had thought about but just had so many bad reviews, including yours. But I love Cate Blanchett.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:25:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi!

I love your reviews and found them helpful. I can't wait to see A Mighty Heart. I've read about this and can't help but think the movie would be bittersweet and poetic in some ways.

I'm also looking forward to Reservation Road. Haven't seen I'm Not There, but am on the fence about it. I saw Masked & Annonymous and thought it was pretty good, but since then all of Bob Dylans stuff has been along the same lines. How many films can be made of him anyway? I'd rather listen to him than look at him I guess, lol!

I'm here from Judy's (Kenju) blog, btw ;)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I do think,
may be I'm far off, or very close:

I have never seen or heard about the productions you have in this post referred to.

I do suspect:
- Not straight Hollywood
- No banal TV Shows
- No second World
- I'm a sensured Norwegian
- I have only access to 30 TV channels
-Performances to intellectual and professional to bear the Mark: Made in USA.

Love your Cactus flowers. As you once said: So wonderful flowers living with so less. And the Bees.

Have a great rest of the Week-

hugs
Tor y Anna

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 2:14:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I am a Dylan fan and I am not even interested in seeing the movie lol. I will have to hunt out the Frank Langella one, Lili is underated you are right. I loved Lauren in Six Feet Under apparently she just had her first baby ( I don't know why I even know that lol)
Have a great week, summer here and the cicadas are chirping loudly outside.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 3:27:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Quite a variety!

I haven't seen any of them. I tend to stick with comedies.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 7:38:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi- great post. "Starting out in the Evening is a teriffic film. Glad you enjoyed these films.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 10:44:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I hear about the Dylan movie and I wondered about the premise. It sounded strange. Did you see the Martin Scorsese documentary on Dylan? Now THAT is worth seeing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 5:50:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Frank Langella is a fine actor !!

Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 5:25:00 AM PST 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Talk about coincidence. We JUST watched A Mighty Heart last night from Netflix.
I thought it was a fantastic movie, and feel Angelina Jolie really MADE it! Brilliant acting on her part. Very well done and I really enjoyed it because it wasn't sappy sad. Just very informative.
Thanks for the review.
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 11:35:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I haven't seen any of these films, but I plan to see A Mighty Heart.
Angelina Jolie is indeed a very good actress.

Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 6:39:00 PM PST 

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