Friday, September 08, 2006
Quick movie reviews: three films my brother said I had to see
"'Spells'? Jesus, James, you make it sound like we're in a Tennessee Williams play. I don't get 'spells.'"
After I revealed that I had never seen the following movies - three of my brother's favorites - he lent them to me. My thoughts:
Wonder Boys: Sure, the title makes it sound like gay porn...but it's even better than that. I really dug this movie, about a pot-smoking writer/professor (Michael Douglas), his editor (Robert Downey, Jr.), and a talented but depressed student (Tobey Maguire). A stolen car, a transvestite, a dead blind dog, a long-delayed follow-up novel, and Marylin Monroe's wedding day coat all play a part in the hijinks that unfold over a wintery weekend in Pittsburgh. I liked this film so much that I went out and bought a used copy ($5!) at Blockbuster. In fact, I'm watching it again right now. Definitely check it out. And see if you can spot "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"'s Mac in a non-speaking role.
Vanilla Sky: I was prepared to hate this one, since all I've ever heard about it was negative. But I liked it. Not as much as much as Wonder Boys, but it still left a positive impression. As with all Cameron Crowe movies, it has a great soundtrack.
Magnolia: This one I didn't really care for. I recognize that it is a well-made film and there are some great performances, but I just found it depressing and meandering. Aimee Mann's songs are used to great effect, though.