Wednesday, January 30, 2008
At the movies
Two recent films that I enthusiastically recommend:
Cloverfield - After reading some reviews that compared this to "The Blair Witch Project" (a film that I hated), I decided to skip this one. When a friend invited me to go see it with him, I changed my mind. The film turned out to be a pleasant surprise although I have to confess that I got a bit nauseous and had a slight headache afterward. It has to be the shakiest of films utilizing the "shaky camera" technique.
We are told at the beginning that we are watching video footage found at Cloverfield (formally Central Park). A group of college kids are attending a going-way party for the lead character, Rob, who has accepted a job in Japan. In the middle of the party, Manhattan is attacked by a large Godzilla-like creature (which resembles either a squid or a dinosaur depending on which scene you are watching).
As thousands attempt to flee via the Brooklyn Bridge, Rob and four others unwisely head back into Manhattan to rescue his girlfriend, who is stranded on the upper floor of her apartment building. What follows is a fast and suspenseful journey through the subways and streets of ravaged Manhattan. Watching the film, you can't help but think about 9-11, but the monster aspect assures us that this is all fantasy. I found the film riveting and was glad I went. If you like this sort of thing, go see it!
And, for something completely different, available on dvd is La Vie En Rose, a biographical film about Edith Piaf, the legendary French chanteuse whose life was a rollercoaster ride of exhilarating highs and incredibly depressing lows. With the awards season upon us (that is, if the writer's strike is ever resolved), you can expect to hear the name Marion Cotillard. She is the young actress whose performance is nothing short of phenomenal. Cotillard captures every nuance of Piaf's being, both psychically and emotionally. Movies rarely make me cry, this one did.