Thursday, January 17, 2008

Damn You Library

My local library lends out DVD's for free. It's great. I love my library. I figure I may as well use my tax dollars at work. (Update: Apparently the tax dollars are working well in Toronto, with two articles in The Star (just so happens) today about our successful libraries. Oh, so I guess all cities don't have good ones?)

They have a great selection, from new stuff to the indie stuff that barely makes it into cinemas.

The bad thing is, because it's free, I sometimes tend to rent things I would have never paid for and then totally regret it (I'll never get back the 2 hours of my life for Scooby Doo or the 5 hours for Star Wars Chapter 1 and 2). Yet as soon as I see a new DVD, I just rent it, just cause. Cause I'm cheapass and I figure I'm saving $5 by not giving my money to Blockbuster/Ted Turner, even though some movies are just wasting time in my life.

Yet I continue to do it. Partly because I just tend to want to see everything so I can judge for myself, but mostly because I'm cheapass that sees something new and free in front of me and my instinctive reaction is to grab for it. Ooooh, shiny!

Anyways, this week's choices weren't HORRIBLE despite the reviews from last year and I've been continuously adding to my grades list for the Movies of 2007.

Evan Almighty wasn't great but I kinda enjoyed it still (though a LOT of points go to Wanda Sykes who really steals the show).

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was misogynistic and kind of offensive yet I wasn't really offended. I guess my years at an all-boys Catholic High School trained me well. I don't even notice it anymore. Plus, as much as Adam Sandler annoys me (sorry, but he's not that funny to me), he's totally balanced off by Kevin James, who IS funny to me and always seems to have a sweet side behind that gruff exterior (he was hilarious in Hitch). Plus Steve Buscemi as the investigator?! I enjoyed the movie far more than I should have despite it being total Hollywood crap. Or maybe because of it, I don't know. But I didn't hate it like I thought I was going to.

I finally finished Transformers which I actually began watching in cinemas last year but the sound konked out 30 min. before the end of the movie and the theatre wasn't able to fix it so gave us all passes to return but I never did (the passes could be used for ANY movie, don't you worry, I would never waste a free pass (again, see above, cheap. library. me)). I usually get really bored with these types of movies but I actually really liked Transformers. The sweeping orchestral score against the special FX extravaganza totally worked for me, even though I had no idea which robot which was on which side or what the whole point of it all was. Still. Fun in a brainless way! Plus, I kinda adore Shia LaBeouf. I have since Even Stevens and Holes.

Now, onto actual Oscar worthy rentals:

Finally caught Away From Her and I can truly say, I'm totally jealous of director Sarah Polley. Damn her for having it in her to direct a patient (no pun intended) moving piece about the trials of an elderly couple when one suffers alzhemers and is placed in a home. I'm very jealous because I was once accepted into the same School of Arts as she was (think Fame but in Toronto and starting in Grade 3) but my parents decided not to let me go (the arts scare Chinese parents so the thought that I wouldn't be going into science freaked them out). I could have been Sarah's BFF, or at least frenemies and I could have gotten a head start in the "biz" or I could have been best friends with Scott Speedman (who was in the Arts School at the High School level).

Anyways, Julie Christie was amazing in the movie and totally deserves an Oscar nod, if not the Oscar (though I'm still leaning towards Amy Adams for Enchanted or Ellen Page for Juno) but Gordon Pinsent is equally deserving of recognition. The movie itself was slow but truly affecting and very very Canadian. A good thing though probably not the best thing to watch on my weekend of sleep.

Then there was Offside from Iran about girls who want to watch the big soccer game but are banned from entering the stadium. The subject matter is more moving than the actual picture (which I think was partly filmed at the real game where Iran won to be entered into the 2006 World Cup) but it was still fascinating to watch in a world eye opening way, even though some of the side stories and plots seemed slightly contrived or poorly acted from (my guess) non-actors. The main male guard was particularly stiff yet somehow he worked for me (um, maybe because he was kinda hot).

Also watched The Hoax tonight with Richard Gere in a great role in a movie (directed by Lasse Hallström) that was weirder than I thought it would be, and I just wasn't prepared for that so I'm still undecided if I liked it or not. Great cast though (which included Julie Delpy, Marcia Gay Harden, Alfred Molina and Stanley Tucci) and the direction was pretty good, but the story of a writer fabricating a whole story seemed more fascinating in Shattered Glass somehow even though this case which faked Howard Hughes life seemed more outlandish. I'm not sure what grade I'm giving it yet but I'll update it on the grades list for the Movies of 2007 when I decide.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

See? SEE??? This is why it's bad for me to have movie channels! Same thing! Though I will say that The Mighty Ducks is better than Scooby Doo.