Catching Up to Last Year

I watched three more films this past week or so, even making a rare trip to the theater for one, and so here is a quick round-up from your super-duper movie watcher:

I first watched “No Country for Old Men” one night and then watched it again the next night. It’s slow and drawn-out and looks great. Having read the book though, I wished I hadn’t when I saw it because I knew everything that would happen. I still loved the movie but I wonder whether it might be even better if I had not known a thing about it. But I must be be fair: a great book by Cormac McCarthy and a great movie by the Coen Brothers. This one will probably get even better with age.

I ventured out to the Logan for “There Will Be Blood” not knowing anything about it, except that Johnny from Radiohead did the score and P.T. Anderson’s movies are usually really good. This one’s about oil, and completely different from anything he’s done. Daniel Day-Lewis is great, one of the top acting jobs ever, I’d say. I’ve seen this guy in interviews or pictures and you’d never know it’s the same guy in the film; he just looks like the real deal in this film, mean and funny and nasty and over the top right up to the brutal end. I think I want to watch this one again. I have to say that I enjoyed it the slightest bit more than “NCFOM.”

It’s unfair to judge any film after those two, but “Into the Wild” came third, and compared to the others it was a bit lacking. I read this book as well a long time ago, but it’s not hard to remember and know what happens. Still, I don’t think that was the problem necessarily. It’s just too long. All of these films are over two hours, but this one just felt longer (“Blood” is the longest at 158 minutes; “Wild” is 148 and “No Country” is 122). It’s a compelling and true story, but I think a good half hour could have been lopped off and made it much better.

Also, I felt the same way watching the film as I did when I read the book, which is that this kid was incredibly naive, and frustratingly so. And there are people he meets along the way who try to warn him, or steer away from what is obvious to all: the wild is gonna beat you! It’s kind of like “Grizzly Man” in that you wonder just what these guys were thinking (although I thought that film was really great).

So my Award-winning movie watching is catching up slowly, but I still have such films as “Atonement,” “Juno,” “The Savages,” and “Kite Runner” to watch. Also on deck: “Sweeney Todd,” “American Gangster,” and of course “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.” What, that didn’t win any awards?!?

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