Monday, August 02, 2004

Monday and Some Movies

This weekend Kristin and myself went to see The Village. It seems like everyone beside us disliked this movie. I don't really understand why, though.

I don't really want to ruin the movie for anyone so I'll try to discuss it spoiler free. Anyhow, one of the biggest complaints is that the twist in this movie is not nearly as neat or interesting as M. Night Shyamalan's other films. First, I must note that I thought the Sixth Sense sucked, Unbreakable was good, and Signs was only watchable. With The VIllage, I think M. Night has created his best film yet.

First, there is not just one big twist in this film--there are two. The first happens a little over halfway through the film and I did not see it coming at all (and anyone that claims they could is obviously lying). Let's just say this twist involves something happening to Joaquin Phoenix that you would not expect.

The second twist, which seems to piss most people off, is extremely interesting if you ask me. It makes the movie believable, much more so than any of his other films, and made me feel a connection with the movie and the motives of the elders in the village. As opposed to using dead people, aliens, and superheroes for his "twist", M. Night instead grounds this story into not using something phenomenal to explain his surprise twist.

For anyone who didn't like this movie, I don't know why you didn't. Was it boring? I didn't think so. It had much more character interaction and less introspection than in any of his previous films. Was the twist not good enough? I thought they were both interesting and made sense. Was the acting bad? Not at all. Weaver, Hurt, Phoenix, Brody, and Howard were all phenomenal. I just don't get it. This was a good movie, but I think that the cool thing to do right now is knock M. Night Shyamalan, so that's what most critics are doing, and the majority of moviegoers, being the sheep they are, simply parrot the critics panning this movie. I say, however, that it was a wonderful movie that I highly recommend.

Another movie I recently saw that I enjoyed immensely was House of Sand and Fog. This was a masterpiece of a tragedy. I empathized with all of the characters and there was no real villain or hero. Each character was a mix of good and evil. They wanted to help others. They wanted to help themselves. They wanted to do the right thing. They wanted to benefit themselves. There was no right decision that any of the characters could make, and because of this each character's world slowly unravels. Watching their lives unravel over the course of 2 hours was enough to bring tears to my eyes. The world is not always a pretty place. This movie shows that, and it does it well.

Another movie I saw early last week was Runaway Jury. This movie was a perfect example of a great cast making a completely unbelievable movie fun to watch. Gene Hackman was great as the villain and Cusack, as much as I detest him in most movies, was pretty good. I'm pretty sure that this was the first John Grisham movie that I've actually enjoyed. For the most part I find all of his movies pretty boring.

With that, I'll bring Monday Movie Talk to a close. See you next time I watch some movies worth talking about!

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