Monday, October 27, 2008

A Movie, A Movie, My Kingdom For A Movie

Seeing as I've just about exhausted most of the films released in 2007 that I've actually seen, I've been contemplating moving on and reviewing films from 2008. Only one problem: I haven't seen any! Is it just me or have there been hardly any films this year that really felt like "must-see" movies? The only such movie I can think of is The Dark Knight. And I still didn't see it! I mean, the kind of movie where you feel like, no matter what, you owe it to yourself to see the damn thing? Wall-E? Burn After Reading? Pineapple Express? The Changeling? Perhaps I really do need those dreaded "year end best-of" lists I ridiculed so fervently last December after all. But as of October 27, there are only a handful of movies coming out in the next month or so that I am truly excited about seeing. I list them below:

Synecdoche, New York: See Ninquelote's post
The Argentine/Guerilla: Steven Soderbergh's four-hour epic starring Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevara. And it's entirely in Spanish!
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: David Fincher, hot off Zodiac, adapts a sci-fi/fantasy-esque F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Count me in.
Milk: Gus van Sant + '70s San Francisco history = at least something worth seeing, right?
Frost/Nixon: Ron Howard doesn't always manage to employ a light touch, but I've heard great things about the play and Howard's kept the original cast, so...

In the meantime, perhaps I'll jump back and review some older films from 2006 and 2005. Or perhaps I'll actually spend my time looking for a job.


Herr Zrbo said...

I saw "W." this past weekend. It surprisingly made me feel (momentarily) sympathetic to Georgie. And the lady who played Condoleeza looked eerily similar (but sounded terrible).

Otherwise I completely agree with your post.

ninquelote said...

I don't know if there were any must see movies this year. There were movies I enjoyed, and movies I didn't mind spending my $5 to go see (movies up here in the down trodden Central Valley cost less than for you Peoples of the Bay). But I haven't seen very much new stuff either. Although, I've been busy raising another human being from birth; what's your excuse, LE?

Little Earl said...

Zrbo: according to IMDB, Richard Dreyfuss (an actor who never fails to amuse me on-screen or off) is just as surprised as you are with some of Stone's dramatic choices:

Richard Dreyfuss, who portrays Vice President Cheney in Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic W., has faulted the film for making the president appear "shockingly empathetic." Appearing on ABC's The View Tuesday, Dreyfuss made it clear that he was unhappy working with Stone on the film, despite the fact that he and the director share similar political views. "You can be a fascist even when you're on the left," Dreyfuss remarked. W., he maintained, was only "6/8 of a good film." (It was not clear why he represented the fraction in eighths.) What was missing he said, was "us -- because we were all terrified of our own president." For that reason, he added, "I question whether the film will have any historic legs."

Herr Zrbo said...

Well I think it's obvious to say that the movie is a little premature, Stone didn't exactly have much hindsight to work with like he had with JFK. I'm not sure if the movie will have "historic legs" either.

I don't really understand what Dreyfuss means when he says the movie was missing "us"?

I found the movie made Bush sympathetic mainly because it made him out to be, ahem, "a guy you could go get a beer with." It's like, "hey, I'd like to go to a bar with that guy!" Of course this isn't a good qualification for being president, but it does make him seem more human.

Little Earl said...

I don't think Bush is necessarily a bad "person" even if he's been, as the consensus seems to be, a bad president. He's just a product of his environment like anybody else and he's probably meant well. I think the problem is that he's brought his personal issues into an arena where you need to be a little more impersonal.

Now I kind of want to see W. Would you recommend it, Zrbo?

yoggoth said...

I think it's pretty obvious that Bush is a bad person. He placed his own ego before the good of the nation. He was entrusted with great power and he abused it.

Some environments result in bad people. That doesn't make them less bad - although it may make them less evil.

"I think the problem is that he's brought his personal issues into an arena where you need to be a little more impersonal." In other words, he should have been less bad.

Herr Zrbo said...

LE- When your others options are a film about a rich Chihuaha, a fourth sequel to a gory horror movie, and a second sequel to a kids musical, then yes, you should go see W. Not the greatest film, but it's interesting to see Oliver Stone's take on George's life.

yoggoth said...

Speaking of W., there is an interesting email discussion at Slate between Oliver stone and various Bush biographers. It's worth a look. Maybe I'll link to it on the main page - why not, eh?