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My Movies for October

Posted by phduffy on 2007-11-01 11:59:08
4 forum posts
Paul's Movies for October:

The Trailer Park Boys Movie (Clattenburg) - Interesting movie, which apparently takes place outside of the TV show's continuity, which allows them to ignore some of the continuity (such as the age of Ricky's daughter). I had a lot of fun watching this movie, but the strength of the Trailer Park Boys is the characters, which is why you need to see a few episodes of the show to really appreciate it. Given that, I'm not sure how much fun people who are unfamilliar with the series would find this. I also wasn't clear on the concept - in the TV show, the framing story is that they're being followed around for a documentary. The movie mostly ignore that, although there were a few points when the characters would talk to the camera. I'm also not sure why nudity was added. I'm all for female nudity, but it seemed really gratuitous here. In fact, all the scens at the strip club seemed out of place for the series. Plus, the repeated the 'jealous idiot with a gun shows up to interupt the wedding' from season 2. The courtroom scene also had similarities to the show. Despite the gripes, I still enjoyed the movie.

Eastern Promises (Cronenberg) - Mob movie set in London, with transplanted Russian mobsters. Almost a thematic sequel to History of Violence. Cronenberg once again uses brutal, graphic, minimal violence. Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts star, he as a member of the Russian mob on his way up, and she as a mid wife at a hospital where a young mother dies giving birth. Watts finds a card for the restaurant Mortensen's boss works at, and attempts to figure out who the girl was. At first Mortensen's accent grated on me, but I quickly forgot about. Vincent Cassell is another non-Russian playing a Russian gangster, and Armin Mueller-Stahl also has an important role Mueller-Stahl is great, although his voice can be hard to hear sometime. Mortensen makes a few decisions here that I don't think most Actors would make, and Cronenberg gets to show more of his thoughts on what true violence is/can be. As much as I enjoyed this movie, I hope Cronenberg moves in a different direction for his next film. So overall I recommend it, despite it's flaws. I suspect that this is the kind of movie some will love, and hail as the greatest movie of the year. This might not make much sense to most people, but the ending of the movie is similar to the end of a Neal Stephenson novel.

Black Book (Verhoeven) - A Dutch film, set near the end of the second world war. Carice van Houten plays a Jewish woman who's hiding from the nazis. She's discovered a few times, joins the Dutch resistance, and starts dating one of the SS officers. I liked this movie, but it's uneven. Verhoeven can't seem to decide whether he's making a serious WWII film, or an action movie set in WWII. There are serious scenes that end in gunfights and a score that would be appropriate in the new Indiana Jones movie, which take away from the threat of war somewhat. That said, an enjoyable movie.

Wal Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price (Greenwald) - Interesting documentary about Wal Mart. Does not, in any way, attempt to show both sides of the story. Is basically a series of short items about various Wal Mart practices which may be bad. Some seemed convincing, while others did not - ie, I was mostly justly convinced that the US needs universal health care, as opposed to any wrong doings on Wal Marts part. Similarly, the US's anti-union feelings aren't really Wal Mart's fault. There was some great stuff on International workers, as well as forcing workers to work unpaid overtime. I went in not liking Wal Mart, and I cam out convinced that I'm right for that, but I would have liked to see someone at least attempt to stand up to them. Contrast this movie with The Corporation, which also has a viewpoint, but isn't afraid to let Milton Friedman show up to argue the opposing point.

Eddie Murphy: Delirious (Gowers) - Just Murphy doing standup, but man is it funny. Very uncomfortable at times (such as when Murphy jokes about AIDS, or how he hit his gf), but still worth watching.

Let's All Hate Toronto (Nerenberg & Spence) - A documentar about "Mr. Toronto", who goes around the country, promotes Toronto, then has a "Toronto Appreciation Day", and tries to figure out why most of the country seems to hate the city of Toronto. It's an interesting perspective, as many Canadians do genuienely seem to hate Toronto, and for a variety of reasons. This was an interesting film for me, since I was not a fan of Toronto before I moved here. When he interviews the head of the Calgary CHamber of Commerce, she iterates what she hates about Toronto, and essentially list everything that Calgary is trying to do (and that Toronto has already accomplished). When the interviewer points this out to her, she gets huffy and defensive, despite obviously wanting her city to turn into Toronto. He then lists a number of reasons that people hate Toronto. One of them is the Toronto Maple Leafs, or maybe more accurately, their fans, which seems like an odd reason to hate a city. He lists the violence and pollution, and attempts to brush that aside by pointing out that Toronto isn't actually that violent or polluted. And while in an International context this is true, it is also true that for a visitor from another Canadian city, Toronto seems dirty. And this brings me to another point - one of the problems with Toronto is that the Toronto tourists see is different that the Toronto that people live in. Many people complained about the traffic, and yes, the traffic sucks, but why would you drive if you live here? (Of course, some people live outside the city and drive in every day). I gave up my car when I moved here, and the only time I miss it is when I want to leave for the weeked. The complaint was also made that Toronto is the most 'American' city in Canada. Again, this is based on going to the Skydome, walking up Yonge street and noticing all the tacky toursist shopts, crappy used bookstores, and sex shops, and deciding that the city is tacky and like American cities (similarly, I suspect this isn't fair to many American cities, for which people have also only seen the crappy toursity parts). Toronto is really about the diverse neighbourhoods, food, etc. Which can lead to a false sense of entitlement, and as the film points out, despite claims on its website, Toronto was never named "The most multi-cultural city on Earth" by the United Nations. Overall, i'd recommend this to Torontonians, mildly recommend it to other Canadians, and not recommend it to non-Canadians.

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