Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Movie Reviews! Before Sunrise, Changeling, Bride Wars

Before Sunrise
I have to start off with the biggest surprise. I watched this movie on my own because I had no idea if it would be great or a total mess of a movie. I'd seen it on a couple of lists of the best romantic movies of all time, and that intrigued me since I'd never heard of it before. I did my research and added it to the blockbuster list, and you know, it WAS pretty good.

It's the story of a free and easy young man and woman that meet on a train in Europe. He is visiting from the US, sight-seeing and trying to assuage the pain of a breakup. She's traveling alone. They hit it off and spontaneously decide to spend a few hours together before his plane leaves the next day. The movie is the story of those hours, and it's rather beautifully done. They wander around the streets of Vienna - in parks, bars, etc. Mostly they talk - about life, love, their hopes and dreams, faith, etc. I think I liked it because it showed the type of interactions that I really love - two people just being totally honest and falling in love as a result.

On the other hand, it definitely smacks of the philosophical narcissism of the '90's. They'll say something esoteric and cynical sit in silence to think about it for a while. I know that at the time those sorts of thoughts seemed new and ground-breaking and daring, but 10 years later they just sound like all of my generation as teens - being cynical about things we knew nothing about and thinking we were cool because of it.

So yeah, there are some things that are ridiculous about the WAY they think about life. What is beautiful is just the personal interaction. It really is beautifully portrayed, and geez, Celine manages to look like such a natural chick in an old dress who looks stunningly beautiful. And you know, here's the odd thing. They don't sleep together. They discuss it and decide not to because it will make all of their connection and conversation seem like it was only because of the sex.


The other thing that makes it unusual is the total lack of resolution. Even as they continued to feel closer and closer to each other, they pull a Sleepless in Seattle and agree to just say goodbye, not contact each other, and to meet again in a year if it really did mean something in the grand scheme of things. However, unlike the other 90's movies with that plot-line, this movie ends with the goodbye, and there is NO hint of what happens afterwards. It sort of drove me crazy even though I loved it.

I guess years later they made a sequel, and it's in my blockbuster queue but I'm not holding my breathe. I think this movie has a unique tension in it that any sequel will spoil.

Film Title: Changeling
Yow. I have actually become a pretty big fan of Angelina's acting, and I was excited about this one despite not really knowing anything about the plot. It is a HEAVY and dark movie. They don't hold back - they show the grief of a mother after a kidnapping, the horrific home of a mass murderer of children and how he went about his murders, it shows the agonizing trial, it shows a hanging without any subtlety, and it shows an abusive women's mental hospital.

Film Title: Changeling
Yeah. It wasn't particularly fun to watch. It is based on a true story though, and that true story is pretty near unbelievable, and totally deserves to be told. There's a lot to learn from it. On the other hand, you sort of at least wish there was a happy ending to balance out the great grief and trauma of the rest of the movie. No. It pretty much ends by saying there was ultimately no resolution for this mother, which completely sucks. I recommend the movie as a powerful movie, but absolutely NOT for light movie watching.

Bride Wars:
poster_Bride Wars
I'm not a girl that likes the mindless romantic comedies (but I do enjoy the ones that ARE smart!). I hoped this one would be enjoyable but I fell asleep halfway through because it was just ridiculous. Yeah it's a funny story about two friends competing over their weddings, but their characters have absolutely no depth to them - it's just all over-the-top girly drama (unlike He's Not That Into You, which I thought delved more deeply into the characters). I just couldn't get into it.


  1. the sequel to before sunrise is surprisingly good, but the first one is better i think.
    btw, the picture you posted is before sunset. =)
    have you watched persepolis yet? i keep recommending that movie to people. i watched it again recently and realized i partly liked it because it was about a tck.

  2. Ah, you're right, wrong movie-cover! I haven't watched Persepolis yet - I added it to my blockbuster online list of movies, but we've been going through them pretty slowly this summer - too much time playing games and swimming with the roomates (that means I finally have a life in Dallas!)....
    anyways, I just bumped it to the top of the list. :)