Wednesday, May 21, 2003

so many movies. it's like an addiction. ones of note:
purple rose of cairo: i forget how much i love this until i run into again. stars mia farrow as a housewife during the depression who escapes drudgery, monotony and her boorish unappreciative husband in the movie theater, and jeff daniels (where has he gone? what is he doing? the man can act) as tom, the star of a typical hollywood flick who steps off the screen because he's so captivated by the sweet, sad woman who he has seen sitting through four shows.
tom has no idea how to handle real life; the characters in the film he walked out of don't know how to handle his absence or a life without a script; farrow's character doesn't know how to handle being admired and adored for the first time. jeff daniels in another role, the actor who created tom and who is held responsible for his character's defection, tries to talk sense into his creation and ostensibly falls in love with farrow as well.
it's a woody allen movie sans woody allen -- the best kind. also tongue in cheek, smart, and meta. ranks among my favorite Movies About Movies with adaptation and barton fink.

spiderman: finally caught this on hbo. my little brother wailed and whined, pointing out deviations from the comic, until i bound and gagged him and was free to enjoy the thing on its own terms. perhaps because of its base in the comic, the movie felt wedged squarely between the years 1958 and 1959. just like my big fat greek whatever. it irks me to have to accept movies of archiac sensibilities as taking place in the present day. at least the special effects are up to date. willem defoe seems to be having the time of his life, as do kirsten dunst's breasts. sometimes wet, sometimes clung to, always perky. you know it's a warning sign when an actress is upstaged by her own body parts (and she was so good in interview with the vampire ...).
little tobey escapes that particular problem, though his body is so drastically different as to be distracting. but he's good. he's really carving out a niche for himself as the adorable outsider, a little like ed norton. just so long as he goes the ed norton good movie route and doesn't get caught up in reese witherspoon vortex that begins with fame and ends with mindless blockbusters, crowd-pleasers, and a celebrity marriage.
still, spiderman celebrity status as the #1 earner seems a mystery. i'm not sure what makes it quite so special.

matrix: reloaded: my theory is that the architect talks so fast so that the average movie-goer will not be able to understand what he's saying and so will not be able to detect that beneath that thickly worded veneer, he really isn't making any sense. to a degree the whole film conforms to that idea: the plot is convoluted and contradictory with several frustrating guns-on-the-wall. i suppose some of those could be dealt with in the next installment; then again, they might not be. it doesn't matter. five minutes in, i was grinning. my jaw dropped during the fight scenes, although each one goes on for longer than it needs to and i got tired of seeing every car flip over in slow motion. two hours in, i was still eager to see what would happen next.
that's the point, isn't it? it's entertaining. everyone looks good. long-winded expository speeches aside, it moves at a pretty good clip and it's exciting. the people who are disappointed with it most have gone in expecting more but it was all i needed it to be.
it does seem like the star wars of our generation. that's all right by me. they feel roughly comparable, quality-wise and in terms of representing an era.

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