Friday, March 09, 2007

Back to the Movies

I don't see the point in keeping a reviews blog since most of the movies I watch are on video (no one likes going to the theater alone). I may post on an exceptional one every now and again here, but that's it. I have seen two exceptional movies in the last week and a half, and I just wanted to comment on them both. Neither movie is for the faint of heart.

Pan's Labyrinth is enjoying a resurgence at the theater after winning a few Oscars, and it seems to be doing well in the American cinema despite the fact that most Americans can't abide subtitles. This is no, I repeat, NO child's fairy tale. It is dark, twisted, and shows a side of humanity we don't like to think exists. There are two plotlines in the movie, and both are equally compelling, even though one is more fanciful than the other. It is a grown-up version of Down the Rabbit Hole, and be prepared for it - they hold nothing back in this one.

The other movie I have been waiting on pins and needles to see opened today. 300 is the story of the legendary Spartan army of 300 men that took on thousands of Persians. The story is by the same graphic novelist Frank Miller, who is responsible for Sin City. This time, a younger director is at the helm, and the picture is both epic and lovely, reminding me much of Gladiator. The battles are beautiful to watch, more like a dance than fighting, if you can stand the spattering of blood. The movie is shot in a sienna tint, making the bloody scenes less gory somehow. The mythical characters are all hideous and distorted, not brilliant like the old stories of Greek mythology. For me it was all over too quickly, and I was left wanting more. This is definitely one for the library.

Until summer, I'll probably keep patronizing my local Blockbuster - the crowds and the cost are too much to see every worthy movie at the theater. I'm patiently awaiting the big ones, like the third Spiderman, and the next Harry Potter movie, but a few interesting gems seem to be popping up, like Angel A. Enjoy a good one this weekend.