"Once you muscle your way past the gag reflex, all kinds of possibilities open up. "

Family day = movie day in the Dickinson household. We watched three today, and now my eyes hurt.

I normally don’t like animated films. I didn’t like Shrek (any of them), I was lukewarm on things like Monsters Inc or Over The Hedge, and liked Finding Nemo well enough but wouldn’t go out of my way to see it. However, Ratatouille (imdb | rotten tomatoes) had gotten such great reviews last year (a 96% on RT puts it in the upper echelon of all 1997 films) that I felt it deserved two hours of my time. I wasn’t disappointed either. It was funny without trying too hard, it was sweet without being sickly, and the animation looked incredible on Blu-ray. Even in this format it made Paris look beautiful. This isn’t a good animated film, it’s a good film full stop. I was dubious, but the critics didn’t lie on this one. Go rent it.

I’m still trying to make up my mind about We Own The Night (imdb | rotten tomatoes); was it an homage to 70s crime dramas or was it merely derivative of those same films? I’m not sure. I enjoyed the performances, but I knew what was coming long before it arrived on screen, and I deliberately try not to predict movie plots. It wasn’t a bad movie by any stretch; I just felt like I’d seen it a dozen times before.

Shifting gears completely we watched The Namesake (imdb | rotten tomatoes) at the end of our day, and it was pretty good. It felt a little jumpy to me, probably because it covered 30 years of ground, but it traded very effectively on nuanced and subtle development of relationships, to the point where you felt like you knew this characters very well by the end of the film. For a 2+ hour film where not a lot happens, it rarely if ever felt slow. So yeah, we liked it.

[tags]ratatouille, we own the night, the namesake[/tags]