At the movies

Stuck on You.

After a friend of mine mentioned Stuck on You on his blog, I bought a copy when I came across it in one of the DVD shops in town.

It’s the story of conjoined brother played by Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon. They work at a diner in Massachusetts, but Kinnear wants to pursue an acting career in Hollywood and takes the reluctant Damon with him. It’s after a chance encounter with Cher (looking like a 45 year old – embalmed 4,000 years ago) who is trying to wriggle out of a TV programme that Kinnear gets his big break.

But the show’s a success, and when a group of fans turns up at the door to the set, Cher assumes they are there for her, only to find that they want Kinnear. However, fame and Damon’s Internet girlfriend pressure the brothers into splitting up.

After the operation, they find they’re only half the men they used to be and that one doesn’t really function well without the other, and they return home to the diner. Kinnear does, however, realise his dream of Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical – with Meryl Streep.

There are some funny moments throughout the film, although the musical number at the end is a piece of needless self indulgence when the audience knows that we’ve kind of got a happy-ever-after ending.


City Hall.

I’ve seen this lots of times in the DVD shops and finally succumbed to its siren song.

I couldn’t remember whether I’d seen City Hall before, but realised that I had as soon as I started watching it. I was then worried that I’d already bought it on DVD, but I hadn’t. I must’ve seen it on TV.

It’s the story of corruption in the administration of New York which goes right to the top of the tree. The scandal is uncovered by the Deputy Mayor (John Cusack) in a display of surprising political naivety and some women with extreme PMT played by Bridget Fonda.

Al Pacino, who plays the mayor of New York, gives an Oscar-winning oration at the funeral of the little boy who was shot accidentally at the start of the film, but the bookend narration by Cusack sets the tone – good ol’ boy from Louisiana in the big, corrupt city. He’s the shovel and they’re the shit.

This is a political film, which means that the revelations don’t come after anonymous assassins chase the Deputy Mayor and his PMT sidekick all over the city. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because there are plenty of political conspiracy films out there.

City Hall‘s all right, but not as all right as you might think.


Breaking Up.

Has anyone ever heard of this film starring Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek? I never had. I survived for about twenty minutes and felt no com­punction about stopping the DVD and putting it back in the wrapper.

The blurb on the back describes them as a “couple in a sawy contemporary romance” and goes on to say, “something whispers it’s the lobe of their lifetimes”. If “sawy” means “boring because it appears to be based on a stage play”, then perhaps that isn’t a misprint.


Cruel Intentions.

This is another version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. It works well enough based on New York society, although the sentiments of the original seem out of place in the modern world.

In the film, Valmont (Ryan Philippe) is Casanova’s evil twin, but he’s finding the art of seduction too easy and needs a challenge. He finds the challenge in the form of Reese Witherspoon, the daughter of the headmaster of the school which Valmont and his “sister” (Sarah Michelle Gellar) attend. Witherspoon has publically promised not to put out until she’s married.

Valmont make a bet with his sister (who is not actually related to him). If he can bonk the headmaster’s pious daughter, he can have his sister as well. If he fails, she gets his car. Valmont eventually succeeds in his endeavour, but falls in love with Witherspoon. His sister then manages to turn him against the headmaster’s daughter by reminding him of his true nature, and despises for his weakness. Valmont is killed saving Witherspoon and the fake sister seems to have won.

However, Valmont has his revenge from beyond the grave through the diary he kept. Gellar’s reputation is ruined.

I believe this film has spawned at least one sequel which, as I now see from the IMDb, is the pile of poo you’d expect.


Star Wars.

I probably haven’t seen this since the 20th anniversary edition came out ten years ago. And when I saw it then, probably for about the first time in ten years, I wondered why I’d liked it in the first place. I guess it was the sort of film that would appeal to twelve year olds.

Anyway, I’m here to make an observation. I’d never noticed that when Luke Skywalker was getting in and out of his hover car that his legs were disappearing below the depth of the chassis. In fact, if you were to make the car for real, your legs would have to stick straight out when you sat down.

And it’s only taken me nearly thirty years to notice that.


Mirrormask.

When I keep seeing the same DVD in the shops several times over, my curiosity usually gets the better of me and I buy it.

The film seems to be an allegorised version of an illness.

It looks a bit like an animated version of a painting by Dali. I’m not sure who the intended audience is, because I thought the whole thing was a little arthouse. Preteens might like the visuals, but probably won’t understand the nuances of the story. Teens maay regard the film as a little childish and fail to see the depth.

I can’t say that I liked it much myself.


The Brothers Grimm.

Matt Damon rides as a brother again. I didn’t buy this film. It was given to me by one of the students, probably because I’d let her have my copy of Finding Neverland. Like the exchange of armour between Glaucos and Diomedes in Iliad VI, I got the worse of it (although the exchange was never part of the original deal).

The film sets the Brothers Grimm in one of their own fairy tales. The plot drags on and on. You don’t care.

It’s like other films based on fairy tales. You get the impression that the maker of the film read some book about the psychoanalytic interpretation of folk tales and, therefore, decided that the film should have soem sort of dream-like quality reflecting the nebulosity of the mind. Instead, the film merely reveals the nebulosity of the maker’s mind. I see the culprit was Terry Gilliam. A fine cinematic moment there, Terry.

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One thought on “At the movies”

  1. That’s quite a line up of movies.  A comment on Russell Crowe.  He was here last week to play with his band and sing, of course.  First of all he was interviewed for TV and sang at the end which was a fair indication that dreams are free. (He can’t sing!!)  Secondly he got offside with a group of people because he lit up a cigarette on stage and that is against the law now.  As the theatre authorities didn’t tell him to stop I assume that they were scared of the reaction if they had.
    Getting dad to the movies is almost impossible so I will wait for the DVDs to be released then hire any that I think are worth seeing.
     
    Tonight, on TV1 a short BBC series of dramas based on Shakespeare are being shown.  Tonight is a modern version of Taming of the Shrew.  We are also going to see The Knight’s Tale (Chaucer) – the 5th in the series I have already told you about.

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