Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Great movies abound

The past few weeks have been very good in terms of movies - this time of year is usually packed with Oscar contenders, so almost all of them are on by want-to-see list.

I saw Charlie Wilson's War last weekend and enjoyed it. Tom Hanks is great (as usual) and the movie moves along at a brisk pace despite covering lots of ground. Aaron Sorkin wrote the script, so the dialogue is beautiful. The film's "message" is serious, but the rest of the film is quite light an entertaining, so it almost suckers you into the final punch.

Another surprise highlight was Walk Hard. I went into this movie expecting nothing - maybe just a few laughs. What a pleasant surprise! There were some laugh-out-loud moments, some great songs (spot-on parodies of several decades of music), jibes at pop culture, and movies about musicians. (It helps if you've seen movies like Walk The Line or know a bit about Elvis, Johnny Cash, The Beatles...)

The most recent film was There Will Be Blood which I saw this past weekend. I went in to the movie in an unusually good mood which I think helped me appreciate the film more :) The film is unusal to say the least - don't expect a standard period piece or rags-to-riches story showing the benfits of hard work and determination. Go in expecting an artistic, gripping, gritty and startling film that sucks you in from the first few seconds. (A jarring note on strings announces the start of the film without any fanfare, and your nerves are instantly unsettled...) The first 20 minutes take place without any dialogue, but are still totally engrossing. When Daniel Day-Lewis' character finally did speak I found myself grinning and thinking "This is going to be reallllly good".
(OK, to be honest, I was telling myself that about 5 minutes into the film:) )

Kudos to Johnny Greenwood for the amazing soundtrack, Paul Thomas Anderson for (another) brilliant film, and Daniel Day-Lewis for a great performance!

PS: Stay for the credits and listen to the incredible closing music from Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major (Op.77)

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