Monday, July 20, 2009

"Sad British pop music and a total misreading of the movie The Graduate"

Apparently my blog is now even more than ever a movie review blog. But that's what I've been doing lately. At least I've now put three excellent films between me and Bruno.


The Hurt Locker is extraordinary. What a fantastic movie this is. The Hurt Locker is about U.S. Army bomb technicians in Baghdad, who spend their days trying to diffuse roadside bombs and IEDs. Director Kathryn Bigelow has crafted a superb thriller here, with more intensity and tension that any other action movie you'll find this summer. In fact, the first five minutes produce such seat-gripping tension that I was reminded a bit of Saving Private Ryan. Jeremy Renner plays a thrill-seeking technician whose reckless ways just add to the tension.

But The Hurt Locker is more than just thrills. The drama and character development also combine with the action to form a truly exceptional war film. A very interesting scene toward the end of the film takes place in a grocery store, and this scene does so much to sum up all that has come before.

I hope this film is remembered around Oscar time. Go see it.


On a very different note, 500 Days of Summer is also a fantastic film. This film is a perfect synthesis of screenwriting, acting, comedy, drama, fantasy, and truth. The narrator tells us from the start that though this is a story about love, it is not a love story, and we are told that the young couple in the film has broken up. And then the film jumps from there.

Tom and Summer, played flawlessly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, meet at work, fall for each other, then break up. Tom is a romantic; Summer is not. But the way the film tells their story (of the 500 days that Tom has known Summer) is what makes this a unique piece of moviemaking. The story is not chronological but instead bounces around from Day 1 to Day 45 to Day 192 to Day 34, etc., as Tom remembers the relationship. And this device really works here.

And director Marc Webb takes some stylistic chances that also work incredibly well, but I don't want to ruin the fun for you. These characters are lovely, and their story is funny and sad. And unlike most "romantic comedies" (of which this is not one), 500 Days of Summer seems real and true.

I loved this movie as well. Not to mention that The Smiths and Belle and Sebastian play important roles.


At 9:54 PM, Blogger Danielle posited...

Love it!! It's the truth!!!


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