In the last week I have seen three movies in the theatre plus a movie on TV. One was the new X-men movie, and the others were movies related to religion in some way (Omen, The Da Vinci Code, and the Seventh Sign). Apologies are due to Robin.
When I was young, with more patience and generosity of spirit, I would try to find something good about each movie that I saw. This gave me an idea for doing a twist on standard movie reviews; just talk about those aspects I liked. With this technique you find out what I consider positive, and by my omssion you should be able to infer much of the rest. Finally, you may find out something about the reviewer. So let's try and see if this technique has value.
X-men: the last stand: Third in the X-men movies. Neither plot, script nor acting adversely affected the strong action scenes and special effects for same. Kelsey Grammer as a giant blue furry anthropoid with culture and savoir-faire was priceless. The absurdity and countless characters almost kept you from noticing how much time went by. A good rental for your local fraternity.
The Seventh Sign (1988): "The seals have been broken. The prophecies have begun. Now only one woman can halt the end of our world." This an apocalypse movie with the usual references to revelations, but it has stronger characterization than most of the Cecil B. deMille variants. The movie has good performances by three of the actors; Demi Moore, Michael Biehn of Terminator fame, and Jurgen Prochnow (the skipper in Das Boot). Moore had the strongest performance, Biehn's persona was unusually quiet and supportive, while Prochnow portrayed an amazing amount of compassion and wisdom. John Taylor, who played a mentally challenged murderer of his parents for religious reasons mainly out of Revelations, played a compelling and non-stereotypical role with great honesty and feeling. The story, especially the climax, are interesting and unusual. Worth a rental.
Omen: I remember watching the original movie on TV when I was young. I particularly remember the strong and moving performance by Gregory Peck. This remake follows the previous plot and script almost verbatim, and made me look back with fondness on the original. The nicest and most interesting part of this movie was the aesthetic of some of the images and of the scenery and architecture. Julia Stiles will grow to fill her role in a few years, while Liev Schreiber will always look up in awe at Gregory Peck. Renting the original 1968 release is highly recommended.
Da Vinci Code: (caveat: this is a more conventional review) Vicky Taylor-Hood has a good review of this crime movie/thriller. In addition, I think this was a uniquely understated performance for Tom Hanks. Jurgen Prochnow, who I usually enjoy, was weak in his admittedly small role in this movie. He usually does a better job in movies with a religious bent, such as the Seventh Sign above. I also felt that the movie had a strange lack of emotional intensity and conviction. This was partially due to some lackluster dialogue, where obvious things were said in an obvious way, and where strong emotional issues came off too much like a lecture. This subject matter demands strong feelings and deep conviction, whether you are religious or not; it addresses some of the most deeply felt and divisive beliefs in the history of Westerm Civilisation. There was a cool chase scene with a Smart Car, and Audrey Tautou should get a nod as best stunt driver of a vehicle under 750 kg. She drives backwards better than I drive forward! I agree with Vicky about the art and architecture, and I would have liked significantly more. Speaking of action, for the most part I found the book had more excitement and was more gripping. Possibly a good rental for those who liked the book.
Was positive reviewing with southpaw compliments worth the effort? Let me know.