My Movie Weekend

I usually don't watch a lot of dvds at my house. Probably this is because I spend a lot of time cleaning out my Tivo.

But this week, to celebrate the start of Spring Break, I watched five--that's right, FIVE--dvds. And even though I was a week late, I watched two Oscar-nominated films so I could see what all the fuss was about.

Walk the Line
I thought this movie was pretty good. I learned a lot about Johnny Cash, and it made me want to go buy a cd (but I didn't). I'm not great at judging performances, so I couldn't tell you if Reese Witherspoon definitely earned her Oscar or not. I do think Joaquin (which I, in my head, always pronounce Joe-ay-kin because it makes me laugh) Phoenix did a very good job of playing Johnny Cash, better than Jamie Foxx playing Ray Charles. I think he (Phoenix) did a better job than Foxx actually, because his performance didn't come off as somebody doing an impression of Cash like Foxx's did of Charles.

I think I was predisposed to like this movie because I already liked Johnny Cash. I think he was on Little House on the Prairie once. If I remember correctly, he was a fake faith healer who came into Walnut Grove and had tent revivals and pretended to heal people, only it turned out those people worked for him and only pretended to be sick in the first place. And then this kid had appendicitis and he went forward to be healed, only Johnny Cash of course couldn't heal him so his appendix burst and the kid almost died but Doc Baker saved him. And then Johnny Cash was run out of town. That was a good episode.

I really really liked this movie. Not as much as Oprah does, but I do like it.

And now I will type a sentence that I never no never thought I would think, let alone say: I think Ludacris deserved an Oscar nomination for his acting. Oh, I feel faint. Still, I liked his story the best, and I thought he did a great job with his character; perhaps most important, I did not spend the majority of the movie going, "Oh, that's Ludacris; when's he going to do a song?"

I liked that the movie did not focus only on black-white relations, but turned its eye on the prejudice felt by many people, whether because of their race, religion, or economic circumstances. Also, given that racism is the major theme in the movie, I appreciate that it does not take place in the South; I have seen THAT movie like, one thousand times already. So thank you, Paul Haggis for realizing that sometimes, people in other areas of the country can be racist too.

I found almost all the characters to be likable at one time or another; I like it when people are not one-note characterizations, but have many different parts to their personalities. I thought the character development was exceptionally well-done.

I know a lot of people think Crash did not deserve the Oscar for Best Picture; not having seen Brokeback Mountain, I can't speak to that myself, but I will say that it totally deserved its nomination. I personally like it when movies tie up all the loose ends; some people don't really think that's "artistic" or "real" but I have to say, I don't always go to the movies because I want to see artistic realism. Sometimes I like to have closure, okay? And that does not make me a cultural moron, HOLLYWOOD.

Batman Begins
Um. Christian Bale swoon

So I'm not the biggest Batman fan, but I thought this was pretty good. I liked all the techno-gadgets, and I also liked the minimal use of CGI. I am old enough to remember a time when movies weren't crowded with fake scenery or extraneous effects, so I really appreciate it when directors choose live stuff over computers.

I liked the look of this film, which tended to be fairly dark; I thought it was very fitting for the subject matter.

My one complaint is not really something that can be fixed: every time Katie Holmes was onscreen, I was taken out of the film. I'd look at her and think, I wonder if she's happy with her choices. And then I would lose whatever information had been given in those scenes. So I totally blame Tom Cruise for the fact that I did not enjoy this movie as much as I might have a year ago; however, given that Katie is going to be forced into early retirement due to the terms of her contract and will therefore be unavailable for the sequel, I think I will DEFINITELY like that one much better.

King Arthur
I am not ashamed to say that I didn't really understand most of this movie. I think it's because I was expecting it to be more like the legend of King Arthur. Also, I kept trying to fit the events of the film into what I know of British history, and I was having a hard time there.

Realistically speaking, I'm pretty sure that people in 452 A.D. were not as clean as the people in this film, not did they have such white teeth. And I'm thinking that the real Guinevere would have worn more in battle that two belts tied around her chest.

I don't think I really enjoyed this movie that much, although it could be because I had to have it back to the store by 5:00 and I was keeping an eye on the clock. Probably that's why it seemed like it was six hours long. Or it could have been kind of boring, I don't know.

The best thing about this movie is that it made me want to know more about the real King Arthur and his knights; any movie that makes me ask questions can't be all bad.

I got this movie because I wanted something funny to watch after all the mental anguish and battles and internal conflicts and global issues.

I've actually seen this before, and I thought it was stupid then. It has not changed.

Will Ferrell always makes me laugh, though, and so does Steve Carell, so I guess I don't HATE this movie. I just don't want to see it again, ever.

Final thoughts:
Although I spent a large portion of my weekend sitting on the couch, I do not feel that my time was wasted. Well, not ALL of my time.

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