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Swept Away

Based on the preview, it looked like a dumb comedy, yet another stranded-on-a-desert island pile of crap. And for a while, it was. In the end, this movie surprised me, and that's a rare feature for most movies, you have to admit. Not only cheesy modern-day blockbusters are predictable; who didn't see what was coming at the end of "M"? That movie was better than this, but it's always nice to be surprised.

Cinematic masterpiece? No. Worth seeing? Probably. Especially if it's free on HBO or whatnot.

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control

Truth stranger than imagination
I saw this film and loved it, though it was hard to gain the proper sense of perspective, as I know Dave (the lion tamer). However, it's interesting to note that Errol Morris is not nearly so controlling or manipulative as some viewers seem to think. He doesn't have to stretch the subject matter to try and make connections... he just lightly played the characters, and they all start to sound the same after a point. Anecdotal evidence? The obssessive robot scientist, after the making of the film, apparently decided the end of the world was coming, and holed up in his laboratory building his robot army (this is of course a rumor, from the lion tamer). In any event, he wouldn't come to any photo shoots after the release, so the other three men posed with a cardboard cutout of him... check the art and you might be able to tell.

The English Patient

Oh, how disappointed I was...
SPOILERS Warning: If you haven't seen this, I guess I kind of give away the ending.

Unfortunately, I walked into "The English Patient" five minutes late. I missed the very beginning, in which a plane crashes in the desert, and one character heads out to find help for the other, badly wounded. After hearing about this film for months, and watching it steal the majority of that year's Academy Award, I was expecting something fantastic. So, the entire movie while I watched one guy trying to get help and bring it back for his girl, I wondered how they got there. To tell you the truth, I was bored out of my mind. Not only is the plot slow-moving, the character development and larger purpose of the movie is vague at best. The only thing that kept me watching through the entire excrutiating three hours was the suspense: what happened to these people? At the end, I realized no answer was coming, and what I had wondered all along was the movie's opening scene; there would be no exciting twist or revelation. If I hadn't seen it at the dollar theater, I would have asked for my money back.

Le voyage dans la lune

The first film is still the best
Le voyage dans la lune was the first "effects" movie, setting the trend for a long line of such films, and it is still the best. The "man in the moon" is hilarious still, and the use of remarkably similar animation in the award-winning Smashing Pumpkins video for "Tonight, Tonight" proves this 95-year-old work is still relevant in the minds of filmmakers today. Perhaps every adventure/fantasy film since has just been a rehash...

October Sky

This film is gorgeously shot, and brings home the pursuit of science against the odds.
I was lucky enough to catch "October Sky" at a sneak preview a few days ago; I plan to see it again upon its release. The somewhat typical tale of inspiration and dreams is enhanced enormously by beautiful cinematography, and the somewhat whimsical use of Dr. Werner Von Braun throughout the film. The end of the film cleverly uses footage of the actual people involved in the story as

summation of the outcome is given for each character. I strongly recommend this film, the first I've seen in nine years that's made me laugh and cry the first time.

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