Friday, October 19, 2007

Random Movie Musings

I admit it - I am a cinemaphile. I can sit through a six hour double feature without moving. I geek out when classic B movies are run again on HBO (Thirteenth Warrior, anyone?). I giggle like a school girl when the season film preview edition of Entertainment Weekly comes out. Free movie passes are like gold to me. I love the smell of buttered popcorn and the sound your shoes make as you walk on the sticky floor of a theatre.

Yet I sadly must admit that since opening the agency at the beginning of the year I've gone to the theatre less and less. This is certainly not for a lack of proximity - there are three theatres within a twenty minute walk of my home. I'm simply too tired most of the time, and the recent releases just haven't gotten me excited enough to overcome the calling of my couch. It doesn't help that the wife and I don't share the same tastes in movies (mine=good movies; hers=weird foreign movies).

But in the past two weeks I've managed to see two fantastic films, The Assassination of Jesse James and Michael Clayton, and this weekend we have plans to see another, Gone, Baby, Gone. I've actually been anxiously awaiting the movie for years, since I first read the book of the same title, by the great Dennis Lehane. For me, this and the three previous titles in the Kenzie series are the pinnacle of mystery/suspense writing (If you're an aspiring writer in this genre, it's required reading).

I was a bit nervous when I heard that Ben Affleck was attached, but when he wisely decided to make his brother Casey the star I breathed a sigh of relief. I've only seen good reviews so far, and I hope that this time Monday I can post one as well.


Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

Did you really think Michael Clayton was all that?

I was a teeny bit disappointed. Great performances all around, but it wasn't...

What's the word?

It wasn't taut.

The script was clever enough but Michael Clayton wasn't really in any peril for 80% of the movie, and then he wasn't in MUCH peril for the remaining 20%.

He had a ton of problems, but none were all that formidable.

A taut thriller requires more of an impending sense of risk. I guess I didn't get that.

Just my two cents.

Jonathan Lyons said...

I didn't really think it was a thriller, per se, especially considering you could see the ending from a mile away. I thought though that it was a good story, with great acting, which is more than what I can say for the rest of the stuff out there right now.

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

Agreed. As a character piece it rocked.

Perhaps the fault lies within my preconception that it was supposed to be a thriller. I saw it opening night before I read reviews.

Robin S. said...

I grinned when I saw that you and your wife have different taste in movies. My husband and I have the same mini-dilemma.

I really enjoyed,if that's the word for being that disturbed - but in a magical, almost surreal way, Gone, Baby, Gone, although I have to say, Mystic River is my favorite Dennis Lehane novel. I loved it long before the movie. It has one of the best first paragraphs in fiction, in my opinion.

Anyway, I'm gonna have to think about seeing the movie. I want to -but, having two daughters - I may have to wait.

cate said...

I used to be a cinemaphile too--and had the dream job at Netflix (before they hit the NYSE) where I got paid to watch movies and write synopses and page content.

Geek out? I hear you. Totally. That happened with the Sopranos - I think I watched nine episodes in a row one time.

Have a nice weekend.

Chumplet said...

Tense dramas like those are reserved for DVD release. I like to watch the big visual blammo movies on the big screen. The more CG, the better.

I save up my Air Miles to get free movie passes, then we make it a family trip. My kids are teenagers and we all share the same taste, fortunately.

Church Lady said...

My husband is glued to the golf channel and CNN. But he did go to see "The Departed" with me. And I'm looking forward to Michael Clayton. There seem to be a few good thrillers at the theatres.

Chumplet said...

13th Warrior? I missed that. Shows how much I pay attention. I love that movie. I could watch it again and again.

When Raiders of the Lost Ark played in the theatres, we had the Runneymede Theatre across the street from my sister's place. We'd sit around in her apartment, asking each other, "What do you want to do?"

"I dunno, what do you want to do?"

"I know, let's go watch Raiders!"

We were often the only patrons in the theatre. After all, the movie had run for almost two years by then. When the Nazi got run over by the truck, my sister shifted sideways in her seat and waved her arms and legs just like on the screen. What a hoot.

Good times.

Maya Reynolds said...

We went to see "Gone, Baby, Gone" last night. I'm looking forward to hearing what you thought of it.

I was a huge Kenzie/Gennaro fan when Lehane first started writing.

I felt the same keen disappointment when Lehane started writing stand-alone books that I did when Coben abandoned Myron and Win for stand-alones. Coben has gone back and written another Myron/Win story so I'm hoping Lehane will do the same someday.

Ello said...

You are one of the few people who admits to liking 13th Warrior! I love that film and am happy to delurk to say so! Before kids I used to see every film released in the theater. But since having kids going out to the movies is rare and it is more likely that I see most films on DVD. But that is the life of a parent!

Jael said...

I saw Michael Clayton the other night and thought it was absolutely riveting. Not a legal thrilled, not a murder mystery, certainly not a courtroom drama... it doesn't fit into any of the boxes. Also, really unusual use of a child character -- Michael's son wasn't just there to look cute, I loved that. And Tilda Swinton, ah! What great performances.