Fellow Movie Lovers
THE LOVELY BONES
Those of you who read Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel of the same name will find this well-acted but tedious film a test of one’s concentrative powers. The genius of Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings and District 9) was on a directorial hiatus.
The mundane script is rescued or resuscitated by Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) playing Susie Salmon (‘like the fish”), Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as Susie’s parents and particularly Susan Sarandon as the glitzy, boozy Grandma Lynn and Stanley Tucci (Julie Julia) who depicts Mr. Harvey with the perfect mixture of creepiness and cunning to give the viewer goose flesh. He is a marvelous actor who seems to finally be receiving the accolades he has been worthy of for years.
The Lovely Bones losses its way and the audience by spending too much time in “the in between”!
THE BOOK OF ELI
We have all seen movies that we like but are hard pressed to describe why. I found myself wallowing in this dilemma as I journeyed through another post-apocalyptic film,
trapped in the gray area between dusk and dawn.
Possibly it was the spiritual aspect, saving the last King James Bible from evil saboteurs or the prophet Eli, who is the harbinger, protector of the Book, possessing supernatural powers in his role as savior. Eli is supposedly the first word uttered from the Cross.
The Hughes brothers, Albert and Allen deserve our approbation in casting Denzel Washington as Eli. You never doubt his faith or tenacity in achieving his mission, and overcoming dauntless obstacles as he walks west; we meet him at the thirty year point of his trek. Washington is stupendous. And Gary Oldham (Carnegie) as the debauched villain who goes to nefarious lengths to confiscate the Book. Oldman is Beelzebub and bedazzles in the role.
Jenifer Beals (Flashdance), still beautiful, plays the blind mother of Solara (Mila Kunis, Extract); the disciple of Eli. Characters in need of more depth or definition.
The ending is worth the journey.
TWO & ½ STARS!
A Bollywood blockbuster with a ridiculous title. Westerners will think of the three Stooges and there are some similarities but this is a substantive at time times moralizing film starring actors at their pinnacle. Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor have tantalized, traumatized and driven to tears Eastern audiences for years and only recently are they mesmerizing western film lovers.
So much is demanded of the Bollywood actors. They must sing, dance, act with such effortlessness that us Westerners discount the immeasurable proficiencies required of them; many are from acting dynasties; like the Barrymores.
Discard, at the ticket counter, your filmatic prejudices and give this insightful and delightful film a well deserved chance. You will have a surprisingly good time.
In answer to your e-mails I am not viewing or reviewing Mel Gibson’s upcoming movie,
The Edge of Darkness. Mr. Gibson has been onerous, erroneous and vituperative in his comments and opinions on a religion that is not compatible with his. He has a constitutional right to express his thoughts but will see not a cent of my currency unless it is for a JUF Fundraiser!