Monday, August 04, 2008

Recent Viewings, 08-03-2008

Saw X-Files, I Want to Believe

Strait up: Fans should see it, of course. For the uninitiated, it's a tossup.

I liked it because it had the look and feel of X-Files - like the new Indiana Jones movie perfectly nailed the feeling of the old films. The music was right, the pacing was right, everyone looked like they should.

The story is a one-trick pony, so make sure you get NO spoilers prior to the flick. Once you know what's going on, you just know. And they do a great job of leading you to it, so it's quite the fun surprise (if it's not been ruined for ya).

It's OK the story is so limited (most X-Files stories typically had a few layers, so this eppy is an exception) because the REAL theme here is Mulder and Scully (who, though they are a committed couple, still call each other by their last names - guess old habits are hard to break). Scully has gone back to medicine and works as a surgeon in a Catholic hospital. Mulder has been sitting around clipping newspaper articles of weird happenings and growing a beard.

I loved the way it circled around the big questions. What is faith? (I've always appreciated the way they've handled Scully's faith. It's never been patronizing or sneering.) What is love? (Baby don't hurt me.) What is obsession? (Insert perfume joke here.) And so on.

Ebert liked it. Peter Travers liked it. Lisa Schwarzbaum not so much. (FYI, these are the three professional movie critics I read anymore.)

Though I did read something that made me go WTF? This bozo got all wound up in his review, braying "it’s howlingly offensive to GLBT audiences." Wanna know why? Because the other committed couple in the flick besides Mulder and Scully are a gay (male) couple. Shameful! They don't visit ONE bathhouse! (Said bozo does not give away any plot points, though.) What a maroon.

I think if you're intrigued at all, you should catch it sometime.

On DVD saw Vantage Point, where William Hurt plays the first bald president, then gets shot.

It's an average little thriller; more of a TV movie.

The shtick is we keep reviewing the assassination through the eyes of various characters' viewpoints. When we get to the end, the scenes rapid replay in reverse with dramatic whooshing sounds, and then we start over with a new character. By about the fifth time (or maybe even the third), you're thinking: crikey, get on with it.

Thankfully it's short. If it's free, or a $1, or you need to pad your Netflix queue, check it out. Otherwise, watch a better old movie again.

Saw Space Chimps with MPC2 (who's 3 1/2), while MPC1 and wife say the mummy sequel (which I felt I'd seen by dint of the preview).

It's rated "G", so I was surprised when a main character gets eaten by a very toothy, scary beasty in the cave of bad plot devices that everyone has to go through to get to the final destination. Mild spoiler: It turns out OK in the end (which is a pun you'll get if you watch it with your wee ones), but still.

Other than that, it's pretty straight-forward, somewhat clichéd fare. Which is just fine, since it's aimed at the tots, and it's paced so they can follow it (unlike Wall-E which has more plot twists than all of Hitchcock's films strung together). Plus when you're that little, nothing's cliché yet - other than naptime.

I recommend renting the DVD when it comes out, putting the little ones in front of it, then going to another room and watch something YOU want to see. However, if you've got little ones who are purists for the big screen experience, just claim as many as you can to be under the age of 3.

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