09 July 2006

Burt, Benny, and Edward

We love movies in my household.......
Old or new, we are continually searching for movies that entertain, educate, and emotionally touch us.

Sara Jean tends toward big names and big productions.
I love to venture out a little and give a "quirky" movie a try.

Last night we watched "The World's Fastest Indian", with Anthony Hopkins.
I'm happy to recommend it without reservation.

We also watched "The Family Stone".
Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I've wanted to watch "Indian" since I first saw trailers for it on TV.
I think Anthony Hopkins, who plays Burt Munro, is wonderful, and my interest in motorcycles and going fast made it a "must see" for me. I've seen several independent flicks from New Zealand that I have enjoyed....."Whale Rider" comes to mind..... so the fact that "Indian" was produced in New Zealand was a plus.
For some reason, Sara Jean didn't want to watch it. Previous movies I have picked showed that all I had to do was push "play" and get her to watch the first few minutes, and she'd be hooked.

Although I think he personally is a wacko, I'm a big fan of Johnny Depp as an actor.
Years ago I brought home "Edward Scissorshands".
Here again, getting Sara Jean to sit down and start watching was like pulling teeth. One look at Johnny Depp on the cover with cutlery for hands turned her off. I started the movie and she was hypnotized. The next thing I knew, she was on the phone recommending it to a friend.

My interest in Depp, and a catchy tune (I'm gonna be [500 miles] by "The Proclaimers"), attracted me to "Benny and Joon".
Again, Sara Jean initially turned her nose up about watching it until she got sucked in by a good story and great performances.

The two Depp movies are obviously works of fiction.
I loved "Indian" partly because it is based on the true story of an eccentric man whose impossible dream comes to fruition because of his pluck and determination.

Back to "The Family Stone"........ a Sara Jean pick.
Craig T. Nelson, Diane Keaton, Sara Jessica Parker.......
Several other recognizable, good actors........ the movie trailer looked interesting enough. For me, the movie was never believable and I never got "invested" in the characters. Several times during the movie I found myself saying out loud, "well, THAT would never happen."
It's a shame......
The actors perform well. Slight changes in the screenplay could have made the story credible, but I could tell where the story was headed almost from the beginning and the characters end up doing some strange/questionable things to make the story progress.
At the end of the movie, Sara Jean and I looked at one another and asked, "what'd we pay to rent that?!"

A good movie has me interested in believeable characters from early on.
As outlandish as Edward Scissorshands was, we've all known good people that were misunderstood the same way he was, so we identify with him and root for him to succeed. Same with both "Benny and Joon" from that movie.

And if the movie is also based on a true story, all the better.

Want to recommend a personal favorite?
I'd love to hear your picks, and why they affected you.


Aviatrix said...

You've seen Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate factory? Even though it's a kids' movie, it's worth a look.

Neb Okla said...

"Brail" is my favorite film because as time passes I more of it seems to come true. Robert DeNero as a heating and cooling engineer is classic. Wife doest like it though. Also there are several versions with different endings.

Neb Okla said...

Sorry, I meant "Brazil". I posted this from a TabletPC.

Mommanurse said...

All time favorite book and movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird". No comment necessary.
"And Justice For All" with Al Pacino. I liked this one for multiple reasons, but the most important reason was that integrity and what we SHOULD do, won out over what was perceived as self preservation.
For my romantic side, "Somewhere In Time" with Christopher Reeve. (prophetic?)
For laughs, I am really enjoying some of the animated, computer generated things, like Ice Age, Madagascar, Over the Hedge. It's fun if you are not sure who is doing which voice, and you make bets through the movie.

OlePrairiedog said...

I think "The Quiet Man" is my all time favorite, but Maureen O'Hara and the Duke made several good ones. Like Mommanurse, I enjoy the Pixar flics, and most comedys. I saw a live stage production of "Hair" and thought that was amazing, so whenever we can we watch live productions. I took the boys to watch a Presidio Monterey adaptation of "A Midsummer's Night Dream" Puck et.al. were on roller skates in Arden Forest. They became huge fans of Bill, and of stage plays. But they all love movies, as we watched many many whent we lived overseas. They still can put in a tape of the "Three Amigos" turn the sound off and do the dialog of the entire movie.

Di said...

'Finding Neverland' with Depp is excellent. I enjoy most of his movies.

As I'd suggested before, I love 'A Knight's Tale', especially the dance scene. The British actors are excellent, particularly Paul Bettany (?!).

A fav of mine is 'Dangerous Liasions' with Glenn Close and John Malkovich. I liked 'Unfaithful', a bit more risque, but Diane Lane is an excellent actress. Those are in a similar category.

I own and STILL like to watch 'Romeo and Juliet' as well as 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. These just take me back to my younger days. It's interesting to observe the dress and demeanor of the actors in 'JCS'.

I love movies! I could go on and on.

We both agree on 'Aviator'...I watched 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' recently. 'Kanoni', my Timneh, African Grey Parrot, liked the music, ha!

Not movies, but good viewing, imo, is 'Six Feet Under' from HBO, which I own. I have several boxed sets of DVDS, and I love 'Reba'...each actor is perfect for their given role, and there's something for all ages. I seriously laugh through each episode, I so relate. I enjoyed 'Once and Again', and own that series, I think your wife may like this one. I met Sela Ward at Disney a few years back, and she is a genuinely nice person, and from my homestate at that, so I like promoting her programs.

I still enjoy 'You've Got Mail' and if you are a Meg Ryan fan, my daughter and I just love 'When a Man Loves a Woman'(despite the story-line), because we especially like Andy Garcia!!

There are some movies by a Japanese director, Akira Kurosawa, that are great..one is 'Ran'. Read about him online...interesting background. His movies were not well received in Japan, so moviemakers here in the USA, like Speilberg, Lucas, Scorsese, and Coppola promoted him. My son introduced me to these films. One that is better known is 'The Seven Samurai'. Anyway, check them out. I purchased them from 'Barnes and Noble' and 'Best Buy', but some may be found in the video stores.

My son also introduced me to Kevin Smith's 'Clerks' movies. I recently watched them again...kind of fun.

Oh well...more than enough for now!!!

Di said...

That would be 'Liaisons'....sorry...didn't proof...

the golden horse said...

Gosh I don't know if I can sort them all out, but there are several that I have really enjoyed over the years.
Of course I like the 3 Rings Trilogy, the Harry Potter movies, Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon was wonderful, The Last Samuri, the House of the Flying Daggers, and you can't leave out the Spiderman movies and the Batman series, and so many more, Just tonight in our rental packet came Elizabethtown and I felt indifferent at first, by the end of the movie, it made me feel good and to appreciate friends, family, and this beautiful country.
I like Johnny Depp in most of his movies.
I liked Brokedown Palace.
I loved Chocolat and in the past few years have really gotten into renting foreign films and have come to love them alot. The different way other countries see life and react is amazing.
It has really opened our world of appreciation.
If a movie entertains me, makes me laugh, cry or think, it must be good. I have learned they are for entertainment only and not to criticize their version of events. I try not to over analyze also.