Thursday, March 31, 2005

My monthly movie reviews

My House in Umbria ==> I caught this original HBO movie on TV. I remember it got nominated for an Emmy award a few years ago. So I figured it must be worth viewing. It has the feel of an European movie with a mostly British cast except for Chris Cooper. It focuses on a group of people reunited after a train bomb tragedy. Set in Umbria, Italy but you don't much of the place and it deals more with the connection between the characters. Great acting as always from Maggie Smith, the plot is simple as a TV film is supposed to be.

The Notebook ==> I rented this from the video store downstairs since I totally gave it a miss when it was shown in the cinemas. Yes I've read the book by Nicholas Sparks and found it really mushy. But in the movie, I didn't find the main characters engaging enough. It seems they didn't have much chemistry. It was a bit slow at first and I almost fell asleep midway during the movie. But I didn't. The rapport between James Garner and Gena Rowlands was much more believable and not in a mushy way either.

Spanglish ===> This was only shown at the Ayala Cinemas. So I went off to Greenbelt. I was curious about the big fuss. Adam Sandler was rather subdued in his role as a chef. Too subdued he wasn't believable. Tea Leoni was too hyper, I wanted to hush her down sometimes, very irritable. And Paz Vega the actress who portrayed the maid, well she was pretty. Can you believe a maid looking like that? But what I found absurd is someone hiring a help who doesn't speak English! Duh! But I guess that is the premise of the movie. An immigrant coming to America to fulfill her dreams plot and in the process being engulfed in the intricacies of a typical American family.

Banger Sisters ===> Saw this on a lazy afternoon on Star Movies. A movie about groupies, well ex groupies. The whole hippie, 70's era of debauchery and rock n roll. It's about reconnecting with someone from your past and having fun even though we might want to forget certain aspects of it (sordid past). Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon are fine actresses. Geoffrey Rush was funny and they all contributed to making it a good film.

Identity ===> The thing is I already knew who the killer was and the whole multiple personality premise. But I was still curious so I ate dinner early and plopped myself in front of the TV. Now I like thrillers. But when they involve ghosts or anything paranormal, it scares me. So it's good I was at home not at some dark theater crowing with fear. They didn't really explain why he did it or what drove him to insanity. But still it was good enough to scare me.

The Manchurian Candidate ===> I never saw the original one so I didn't have any point of comparison. They made it more modern settings making the first Gulf War as the setting so people can easily identify from recent memory. Good acting from the cast especially Meryl Streep who fits the role to a T. Conspiracy theory plots have always made good movies and with the state of paranoia that grips the USA today, it made this movie a bit plausible.

Man on Fire ===> Another Denzel Washington starrer worth watching. I believe it is based on a novel but certain characters in the book are patterned after real people. Dakota Fanning, the child actress is quite good even at her young age. Even though the theme is quite disturbing (kidnappings) you can't help but believe it does happen. We all know for a fact that they are common occurrences in certain parts of the world.

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