Monday, December 03, 2007


I keep thinking I'm going to have a bit of time to write extensive reviews for some recent movies I've seen (and albums I've bought) but it just ain't gonna happen. So, here are the Cliff Notes versions:

No Country for Old Men I love the Coen brothers and they are probably my 2nd favorite directors behind Kubrick. Fargo has always been my favorite of their movies(Raising Arizona and O Brother, Where Art Thou? after that). Add No Country for Old Men to that group. It's sparseness, lack of dialog and great cinematography is evocative of Fargo but this movie is definitely it's own animal. While on the surface it's a crime drama involving a triad of great actors (Jones, Bardem and Brolin) chasing each other, it's really about us and what we value and how screwed-up values can ruin people's lives. The great thing about the movie is that it works on both levels mainly because of the strength of those actors and the deft hand of the Coens. Kelly McDonald (Trainspotting), Stephen Root (NewsRadio, Office Space) and Woody Harrelson all give great supporting performances. Grade: A-

For a much better review of the movie than mine, check out Wunelle's blog:

No Movie for Sissies

Raising Sand - Robert Plant/Alison Krauss - Putting the lead singer of "the" definitive rock band together with a bluegrass legend doesn't seem logical or a recipe for success. But producer T Bone Burnett doesn't follow trends, he creates them. He was the genius behind the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and pretty much singlehandely made bluegrass cool. Well, he's struck gold again. Picking a mixture of old rock songs and country songs that are thematically dark, Krauss and Plant both step outside of their comfort zone and create a great album. I've heard they are going to tour in the spring and will even dust off some Zep songs. Count me in. I love Krauss and Led Zeppelin and would pay money to see her put her spin on some classics.

Bee Movie - Oddly, the start of the movie made me think of Into the Wild. Having just graduated from Bee school, the title character, voiced by Jerry Seinfeld, seeks to break out of the expectations that his family and society have placed on him. Granted, he doesn't hitchhike around the southwest and die of starvation in a bus. But other than that, it's the same.

I didn't expect much of this movie and mostly just went because I wanted to go to a movie with the kid and this one was the only appropriate one. But I liked the movie. Sting and Ray Liotta give funny cameos and all the main voice actors (Seinfeld, Zellweger, Broderick, Rock) do a good job. By no means high art, but an entertaining movie with a decent message. Grade: B (get it? I gave it a "bee". hoo-hoo, I kill me)


embalmingregiment said...

I have not seen Bee Movie yet. I did see those shorts Seinfeld did during the Office. If the movie is anything like those shorts then I'm not too sure about it. Too much hype too early also. I can compare the hype to Borat which was very funny, probably the only movie that has made me laugh out loud in the theater. But after about a week and a half of bombardment of everything Borat, I really don't wish to see it again. Overkill.

wunelle said...

I was curious about the Bee Movie, mostly because I love animation. But the previews did not make it seem alluring.

I DID go and see "Enchanted" the other night, and it was unexpectedly delightful. Maybe mostly because Amy Adams is, well, desirable. But it was a cute movie just the same, and I almost wished I had kids to take it to!

Laura said...

We saw No Country last weekend. I liked it, but I want to see it again. I tend to have difficulty focusing on slower-paced movies in the theatre because I can't sit in those seats comfortably for that long unless I'm completely distracted by the movie. I do want to give it another try, because I think I'll like it more when I can curl up on the couch and watch it. Bee movie is a renter for me. It just looks kinda, 'eh'.

dbackdad said...

embalmingregiment - First of all, welcome. Glad to have you stop by. Just checked out your blog. Love it! You have a wry, sarcastic sense of humor that will serve you well with my group of regular visitors.

I agree on the bombardment of the Bee Movie. It was the biggest reason that I was reluctant to see it. Despite my reservations, I did enjoy myself.

Wunelle - I've heard nothing by positive things about Enchanted. It will be a definite family outing in the next week. And dittos on Amy Adams. Guess I have a thing for Colorado Mormons.

Laura - I did like No Country but I was a little ambivalent on the Sopranos-type ending. Like you, a repeat watching might help me.

Scott said...

I wanted to see No Country last week but we settles on Bella which was okay but not great.

shrimplate said...

I thought the Tommie Lee Jones monologue at the movie's end was incredible, and I remember leaning over to my spouse to say "the end!" just as the film closed... I think he said "and then I woke up" after describing the dream about his father lighting a fire out in darkness.

There were howls in the theater where we saw it. I heard one twenty-something male say to his friends "So just why did we come see this movie?!" But the theater was packed.