12 November 2006

Weekend Mind Vegging

Aside from enjoying the Greek festival, we played frisbee in the soccer fields, I got in a good interval training run, and cleaned house. Steve & I also checked out some movies from the library, and viewed some more from Netflix. I love not having to study on the weekends! I'm really going to town on the movies, just because I CAN. But, after this weekend, I think I'm all movied out at least until Thanksgiving break. So here's the lowdown on a few that we viewed (we tried a couple others, but after 5 minutes, we hit the eject button).
Everything is Illuminated is Liev Schrieber's directorial debut in a film based on a book by the same title. An American Jew goes to the Ukraine to find out about a woman who saved his grandfather from death by the Nazis. It's a journey for 3 men from 2 cultures who end up having more in common than they originally thought. The story is rather strange from the beginning, and we weren't sure how much more we could take, but it did pick up and soon became more interesting. After we watched the deleted scenes, we agreed that we definitely would have hit the eject button early on if those scenes were kept in tact. It's not bad, and ends up better than you think it will after a very slow and odd start. I loved the cinematography of the lush countryside and the contrasting WWII reminiscing that was harsh and black and white . . . reminded me of Saving Private Ryan footage.

Yet again, Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd team up to do a movie together. High Crimes also stars Jim Caviezel as Tom Kubik, a marine accused for the murder of 9 innocent victims. Freeman plays a former Marine who is an offbeat but successful lawyer that's recruited to help the defense. Judd plays Claire Kubik, wife of Tom and his attorney for what turns out to be a government cover up with a scapegoat for the accused. But, the plot takes various twists and turns as the story plays out. Suspense thriller. The problem with this genre is that I hate it when women get attacked or threatened and they STILL don't take any precautions and so they get attacked and threatened . . . AGAIN. DUH! Leave a light on at home, CALL 911 from your cell phone, get a weapon or learn how to use your arms and legs as weapons, but don't end up as a victim repeatedly because you're too dumb to take precautions! I hate that Hollywood does this over and over again in movies. Overall, good flick. Uhm, well . . . Jack Black is hilarious, as always. And, if you're a fan of Jack Black, then Nacho Libre is passable. Otherwise, it is really strange and really lame. Definitely a disappointment if you're looking for something to be a good follow-up to the director Jared Hess's Napoleon Dynomite. Mexican orphanage chef & friar by day, tag team wrestler (luchador) by night. This movie sucked bean dip.

Sandra Bullock plays Gwen, an alcoholic party girl who makes a mess of her sister's (Elizabeth Perkins) wedding and gets charged in a D.U.I. Her sentence: 28 days of rehab or jail. Her rehab counselor is played by Steve Buscemi (atypical role for him, but he pulls it off). Heavy drama with a strong cast, but the annoying songs and rehab chanting really are over done, but that's part of the story line. Viggo Mortensen plays an Oklahoman baseball pro who befriends Gwen in rehab. Not a super thick storyline here, just how Gwen and a few others struggle in rehab. This is pretty much. . . meh. But you can see the NYC skyline pre September 11th with the Twin Towers still in tact.

Bruce Willis plays . . . a cop. Wow, talk about typecast. This time, he's a bad cop, but then everyone in the flick is painted as a bad, corrupt cop. However, he wants to turn around and help a witness who's set to testify against a bunch of bad cops. So, for 16 blocks of NYC, it's cop & defendant (played by Def Mos) vs. many many cops. Do they make it to the trial in time to testify? Do they survive? Ahhh. . . gotta watch to find out. Worst part of the flick is listening to Def Mos drone on and on scene after scene in his annoying, nasally voice that was reminiscent of Fran Drescher from The Nanny. Steve and I were literally yelling at the screen and telling him to "shut up". Ugh, cast someone who isn't so annoying to listen to, or give him fewer lines . . . please! This movie was . . . okay, nothing special.

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