Sunday, January 3. 2010
Tried to catch some movies over the holidays, but with all the inclement didn't manage to get out much.
Movie: Where the Wild Things Are: Didn't take a lot away from this, other than to remember childhood as a time best forgotten. The monsters didn't seem very functional: they did join enthusiastically into Max's violent fantasies, but the wear and tear was rough. B
Movie: Sherlock Holmes: Guy Ritchie's action film ultimately recapitulated the rational deductions of the master sleuth, but in quickly tossed off sequences after running us through huge amounts of hokum. The action sequences were better cut short for the trailer, where their outrageousness is more amusing. Robert Downey and Jude Law were entertaining, at least when Rachel McAdams wasn't around. Still, the only thing I was repeatedly struck by was the set direction. B
Movie: Invictus: Title comes from a poem by William Ernest Henley, referred to by Nelson Mandela trying to inspire the Springboks rugby team captain. A sports story tailor made for film: how post-Apartheid South Africa united behind a rugby team that had long been a symbol of Afrikaner racial dominance, and how the team's captain, and ultimately the team, picked itself up to win a World Cup. Someone would have inevitably done this, but we're lucky Clint Eastwood got the story -- not least for casting Nelson Mandela with the note-perfect Morgan Freeman. The scenes are eye-opening, the substory with the body guards measures the pulse of the movie. The big game drama is a bit of an ordeal, especially without much comprehension of the sport. My main thought during that slog was: thank God they're not playing cricket. B+
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