sarah recommends…

partly in response to electric firefly’s recommendations in honor of Upcoming Unnamed Romantic Holiday and partly because I’ve been in a movie renting phase again, I’d like to offer up a recommendation of my own.

In the Land of Women. I sort of dislike posting trailers because too often they spoil the surprises and good stuff– I love it when I go in to a movie knowing and expecting virtually nothing and am swept up into the reality it creates– I also think that trailers are a very specific medium separate from and wholly different from the feature-length films they supposedly represent, such is the power of editing and pacing. this movie is not what the trailers would seem to sell it as, a romantic comedy– it’s a lot more thoughtful and quirky and therefore, I think, lovable than that. the strengths are really good writing, superb pacing, and beautiful performances, even if you may or may not have preconceptions about meg ryan from her previous roles. and, really, what’s not to love about adam brody?

I wish I could recommend more than this, but really a lot of what I’ve watched recently has just sort of slid right off the plate of my consciousness. I liked Fracture, even though it’s pretty formulaic, because how could a movie with ryan gosling and anthony hopkins be anything but watchable? but frankly it’s thin. the rube goldberg devices are nifty, though. I tried to watch 300 and had to shut it off about ten minutes in, which I virtually never do– somehow the same types of artifices and over-the-top-ness that I adore in Sin City, here just felt way off the mark and immensely irritating to me. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix was… I won’t even say enjoyable because poor Harry is just being set up to grapple with one impossible situation and set of condemnation and misunderstandings after another, and it just kind of feels like a gulag to me. if you want fantasy The Golden Compass is far more multifaceted and compelling, for my money.
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5 Replies to “sarah recommends…”

  1. On trailers: I would rather see a film after someone told me it was great and, as you said, without any other expectations. But I've seen a fair number of good films (and avoided an equal number of bad ones) only because of watching their trailers. For example, I probably wouldn't have seen In the Land of Women if I hadn't seen the trailer on the Apple site.On In the Land of Women: I wanted to love this movie, but didn't. I can sum my feelings about it in two words, "too pat." I hesitate to say more, though, since I don't want to ruin it for everyone (if I haven't already). I did like it, though, just not as much as I had hoped to.

  2. I liked this movie — I had gone into it thinking it would be a guilty-pleasure-type romantic comedy, but it did work out to be much more than that. Also, Adam Brody is completely adorable. I was left thinking, though, why aren't there these sorts of plotlines for female characters? (I mean, I know why, basically, and I generally don't get hung up on gender issues, but every now and then that sort of issue pops up an prevents me from 100% enjoying a movie.)

  3. We've watched two films recently that were directly adapted from plays, The Dresser (1983) and The History Boys (2006).The first I watched initially about the time it was first released and it was as good as I had remembered it. It's been a while since I've seen something in which Albert Finney has a major part and he's so very, very brilliant in this.The second was quite good, too. The characters are engaging and the story is thought-provoking. Both films provide reminders they're originally from the theater, though in this one they're less subtle, which I felt unfortunately took a little away from it.The movie that really rocked my world lately, though, was Juno. We're going to snatch up a copy when it comes out on DVD. I'm going to be so disappointed if it doesn't win at least one Oscar!

  4. oh, duh! right! JUNO! Juno wins for best lately. silly me to have forgotten that.and re: your "too pat" comment– I can see that, definitely. doesn't bother me here, personally, as I take the whole as an artificial construction representing one guy's experience… but there's also that phenomenon of having watched it with zero expectations–which I suppose I've just, in effect, ruined for anyone else who reads this by making the recommendation… guh, it's like one of those time loops or something. ;)

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