Movies I've seen in 2005
- The Sum Of All Fears
Like other movies based on Tom Clancys Jack Ryan novels, particularly
Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger,
this one leaves out those two-thirds of the book that explain why there is shooting
in the remaining third. So go read the books, and just forget about the movies.
- Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Now this is my kind of humor. Many skeletons, and none in the cupboards, but very much
up and about, and they almost manage to seduce a young groom with a bride who is not only
short a few bones, but still well in the flesh, so to speak. The living are an amusingly
dreary bunch in comparison. Excellent entertainment.
Matt Dillons Henry Chinaski/Charles Bukowski comes along classier than the one Mickey Rourke
played in Barfly (as long as money permits it),
but he still fits the character, and plays it very well. Being put together from several
of Bukowskis stories, the plot does not really have a beginning, a climax or an end - it just
seems like a random excerpt of a strange life.
- Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit
W&G on the hunt for a giant rabbit which -come full moon- threatens prize vegetables
grown for a competition. Gromits facial expressions are priceless, and they're using an
arsenal of Acme-like contraptions, except that they actually work. Excellent entertainment
with a nice touch of Britishness about it.
- The Godfather, Part 3
The last part doesn't measure up to the first one, either. The family gets back to where
it came from -Sicily-, and cuts deals with the Vatican, which isn't as clean as one
might expect. Michael Corleones power slips away, and even though Andy Garcia
stands ready to take over, it seems the family is done for, as befits the last
part of a family epos. Strangest of all, Michael Corleone confesses that he has sinned, although he doesn't repent.
- The Godfather, Part 2
Michael Corleone branches out into Las Vegas and Cuba, but times are changing,
politics get in the way, and the family ain't what it used to be. A lot fewer
deaths, but more soul searching, and many flashbacks into the beginnings of the
Godfathers career, where he's played by Robert de Niro. It feels more like a
connecting piece between parts 1 and 3 than a movie in its own right.
- Reign Of Fire
This typical summer flick pits fire-breathing dragons against the last remains of humanity
in a post-Armageddon wasteland. While the special effects are entertaining, if not exactly
groundbreaking, the producers gave the writing short shrift. The outcome is as predictable
as the timing of when dragons do and do not appear throughout the movie is mysterious.
- The Godfather
It may seem hard to believe, but I hadn't seen it before. Marlon Brando and a young Al Pacino
take New York syndicates from where Robert "Noodles" DeNiro left it ten years earlier in
Once upon a time in America.
I was surprised at how humane the Godfather actually is at times. Or maybe it's just good for business.
In any event, the son does seem more ruthless than the father -which bodes well for part 2-,
unrefusable offers are being made, Las Vegas is born, and now I know why it is so hard to give
a good impression of Vito Corleone.
- La Grande Séduction
A small fishing village goes to great length to attract new jobs to town. It seems like the
French version of Waking Ned Devine
- the same small-town cunningness, charme and sense of survival. Quite enjoyable.
- Pride And Prejudice
I'm not knowledgeable enough about Jane Austen to say if this version is truer to her book
than any of the previous adaptations, but it does have Donald Sutherland as Mr Bennet,
who is a favorite of mine. Brenda Blethyn as Mrs Bennet displays an eery degree of hysteria
about getting her daughters married.
- Broken Flowers
Jim Jarmuschs latest has Bill Murray visiting the ghosts of girlfriends past, in order to
sort out the mess his present life is. He may be through with the past, but the past doesn't seem
through with him. The question of whether any of it actually makes an impression remains to be
answered by all of us. Parallels with Liegen Lernen
are rife, though, so it's a bit of deja-vu.
- The Gathering
Fitting into the age of the Da Vinci Code, this supernatural thriller based on ancient church
mystiques is a nice change of pace. With Christina Ricci one never knows on which side she's
going to come down, and this one is no exception. A horror movie for the rest of us, who are not
really into the genre.
- Die Legende von Paul und Paula (German)
Life in the 70s in Eastern Berlin was not pretty in a number of ways, and this perspective
of it is worth seeing, and has become an East German classic. The film depicts a relationship
that finally can happen after many fits and starts and detours, and shows life away from history
and politics. The lesson that one cannot have a cake and eat it too is taught, but ignored,
and the consequences suffered.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
A succession of woven-together scenes from the various books, which probably cannot be adapted
to film in any traditional way. Considering that, it's faithful to the spirit of Douglas Adams,
but only fans will consider it a must-see movie.
- Garden State
There's something special about New Jersey, as Kevin Smith already showed us in his various movies.
Here it's about getting closure with a life left behind, and putting things in perspective by
reconnecting with places and people of one's childhood. Is a new start possible? Or will NJ haunt
the main character forever? Finding some answers does not mean the end of questions for him.
- Natural Born Killers
Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino teamed up for this fast-paced thriller. Remembering the media ruckus
when it first came out, I can't understand what the fuss was about. Yeah, it's violent, and the editing
is remarkable with its short sequences and fast cuts, but nothing actually shocking. And it's good entertainment.
- Marathon Man
Not exactly a new release, but an intricate story, evil men, good acting, and a memory of the 70s
make this one a winner. Great performance by Laurence Olivier (alongside Dustin Hoffmann and Roy Scheider)
whom I'd never seen before.