We are movie-watching machines. We finished off the batch of four movies I rented on Friday and picked up four more.
We watched the very troubling and very authentic-feeling This Is England (imdb | rotten tomatoes) yesterday. It was the story of a 12-year-old boy who falls in with skinheads in Thatcher-era England; the premise sounds far-fetched, but it portrayed in a very real and creepy way how easily it could happen. It was amazing how well they re-created the scummy, gray, economically downtrodden England of the time, and the characters all felt so real…probably partly because I’m unaccustomed to seeing actors make themselves so ugly (i.e., looking like they really came from that era, not a Hollywood-softened version of it) for authenticity’s sake. Highly recommended.
Black Book (imdb | rotten tomatoes) would have been an excellent movie, but it went on 30 minutes too long. An almost non-stop battle between the Nazis and the Dutch resistance, and done in Paul Verhoeven’s typical raw style, it lost momentum in the final act as it twisted and turned through too many endings. It’s still worth watching though.
The Kingdom (imdb | rotten tomatoes) got a bad rap from a lot of critics, but I liked it. It’s not a multi-layered intrigue-fest like Syriana; it’s an action movie. True, Jennifer Garner and Chris Cooper were wasted playing caricatures and the story got rather hard to believe at times, but it was gripping and interesting and even funny in parts. Again, well worth picking up.
Tonight we’re taking a break from potential best-of-2007 films and watching Hostel 2, as per Nellie’s wishes.
[tags]this is england, black book, the kingdom[/tags]