Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekend Movie Viewing

Saw National Security with Steve Zahn whom I usually love and Martin Lawrence. I don't know why but Martin always has to play angry dangerous black man and to me anger isn't funny. Seeing a buddy flick where the guys totally hate each other and their anger is supposed to be funny...well, it gets me uncomfortable. Hey, I don't mind anger in movies but there's a point in certain comedies where it gets so odd and mean-spirited I simply can't deal.

Saw Rumble in the Bronx. Okay, this is the very first time I've ever seen this flick. Yes, yes, I know... considering how much I love Jackie Chan and Jet Li and Asian martial arts or arty films I really should have watched this. Well, imagine my surprise when I see an old Asian guy -- the uncle of Jackie Chan's character-- married to an older Black woman. I was like, well, this is interesting! So I kept watching it but I found myself cringing. Yesh, like when I cringed when Michael Jackson kissed Lisa Marie Presley on MTV. It felt very odd. I seem to have an extra sensitivity to interracial relationships used as a kind of ploy or stunt.

Watched The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Okay, I've seen this before and I kept wondering what it was about this flick that kept me wanting to avoid it so much. Okay, the plotting is obvious sometimes and the scifi stunts are pretty crappy but I'm easygoing. Any lover of scifi can endure bad CGI. But what annoyed me during this flick was the subtle and not so subtle cracks at Judeo-Christian beliefs and the Bible. When you have a character searching for the name of God and suddenly realizing the answer is "me" because "God is inside all of us" or praising Buddhism but saying stuff like, "Well, with this discovery we will have to totally rethink the Bible." Well, there is a point. After that was Librarian: Solomon's mine and Librarian: Judas. And honestly, I just didn't want to see my faith annoyed even more.

YEah, I was jumping all over the place. Hey, I was stuck in bed trying to catch up with sleep. Watched the Kraken. I endure the bad CGI./ Scifi Channel is especially bad at this kinda thing. The production companies they buy their films from are....well, when their effects get used on clip shows like The Soup or Best Week Ever. You can tell. but hey, I liked the Kraken, it was the most fantastical of the Water Creatures Sunday pick., I simply did not want to watch Shark 3: Megalodon.

The best flick was Borrowed Hearts starring Roma Downey. Okay, I'm a wuss. But I was totally touched. It's about a single mom whose rich boss needs to pretend he's married because he's trying to sell his company to a Mexican businessman (played by Hector Elizondo.) Roma Downey's character is really sweet and she has a daughter who is a good actress except for those moments where one feels the director told her to try to look cute and sentimental. There's also an evil selfish ex-husband in the background.

I've heard casting folks talk about an actor's gravitas. I totally understood it with the Elizondo roll. I knew his character had integrity before he opened his mouth. But I'll say that the screenwriters playing around with the child's notion that "mommy, he's an angel" pretty much hinted at "faith is subjective. He may or may not be an angel but this is what she believes so yes, it's true. "FOR HER". That was annoying and subtly messy theologically for me. Childlike Faith is often shown as sweet sentimental delusion. Which it isn't. Childlike faith is pretty hard to have. A couple things that also annoyed me in this otherwise really sweet movie was a black woman co-employee is kinda put into the scene to be a symbol of the good working poor American woman who will lose her job if the company goes overseas. I know, I know. Poor white screenwriters. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. But I'm sorry it felt like tokenism. I suppose I should be glad there's a part for a black woman. Another thing that bothered me were plot silliness. When the pretend wife and husband are supposed to have their first real I'm-falling-in-love-with-you-for-real kiss, the little girl shouts from her pretend room, "Mommy, come! I'm scared!" Totally wrong line. Heck, the little girl is never scared. The screenwriter could have written something like, "Mommy, come and tuck me in!" That would've worked better. There's another instance too of this kind of plot silliness that could have been made better with a little tweak. But on the whole I loved this film.

Also saw Anchorman with Will Ferrell. Okay, I love Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Ben Stiller, Steve Carrell, Owen Wilson, Seth and all those Judd Apatow folks but I didn't think this was funny. Instead of commenting on old-fashioned sexual mores they should've had a plot about all the news groups competing for ratings or something.

A movie I looked at but didn't finish was Holiday Switch about a woman who is married to a poor guy and they have no money for anything and are always getting bill collectors. But he's a good soul. She switches her life via a clothes washer and ends up married to the rich guy...and of course she soon regrets her wish. I wanted to like it but ... it was predictable in a bad way. And weirdly, there were very few black folks in the flick. Okay, I know...I said earlier that black folks shouldn't be used as tokens but honestly, all the maids and secretaries in this flick are hispanic. Probably is really like that in California but it did kinda bother me. Made me think about poor black women with no jobs.

-C
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