Movies I watched:
Vanilla Sky (2001) ****
I’ve heard mixed thoughts on this movie from various people over the years, ranging from “it’s awesome” to “its pretentious garbage.” After seeing it for myself I think it’s a very good film with a lot of interesting ideas. It isn’t as good as other movies with weird stories like Being John Malkovich or Adaptation, but the story unfolds in a way that isn’t confusing as long as you stay focused and it kept me entertained. Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz both gave oscar worthy performances but were unfortunately overlooked that year. What keeps the movie from being excellent is an overproduced feeling. I normally think Cameron Crowe is a brilliant filmmaker, but some of the visuals and pacing is a little off here. It’s still a great movie though. It’s definitely not the bad film that critics and people made it out to be.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) ****
As I’ve likely mentioned before, I don’t usually enjoy sexual or crude humor. Surprisingly I actually found Sarah Marshall to be pretty funny and enjoyable. I still didn’t find the cruder jokes very funny, but there are some hilarious scenes throughout the movie that kept me laughing. I found myself getting involved in the story a lot more than I did with Superbad and 40 Year Old Virgin. One final note: After seeing what Jason Segel does with puppets in this movie, I cannot wait to see what he does with the next Muppets movie.
Chicago (2002) ***
I tend to have a love/hate feeling when it comes to musicals. Some like Moulin Rouge and Mary Poppins I absolutely adore, while others I just don’t like at all. Seeing
Bullets Over Broadway (1994) *****
I’ve never seen many Woody Allen films before, so this was definitely new ground for me. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with this one film and if other Woody Allen movies are this good then I have a lot of catching up to do. It’s a screwball comedy that uses the 1930s era of broadway and the mafia to create some brilliant comedic scenes. The writing (always important in this genre) is perfect and each performance is gold. I found Dianne Wiest’s performance in particular to be fascinating. I now think that its one of the most well deserved Oscar wins.
The English Patient (1996) *****
I know that this is one of the more controversial best picture winners (it defeated
The Hours (2002) ****
This was an odd one for me. The quality of the film is undeniable. It has an excellent cast (Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Ed Harris), solid writing and direction, and high quality art, cinematography and music. I just found the subject matter so depressing that it kept me from getting into the film. Well made, but not for me.