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Archive for March, 2010

Sometimes all I want in a movie is a little bit of escapism and Tim Burton.  The new Alice in Wonderland movie does just that, it allowed me to escape into Wonderland with some of the kookiest characters, played by some of the best actors of our time.  The retelling takes place several years after Alice’s first trip to Wonderland, this time she is nineteen and believes that it is all just a crazy dream that she can wake up from if someone would only pinch her really hard.  I like the idea of having an older Alice re-entering Wonderland at a time in her life when she is starting to question so many things.  I loved the character of the Cheshire Cat (voiced by the very awesome Stephen Fry), but it was the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) that just broke my heart.  I also thought that  Helena Bonham Carter was great as the Red Queen (with a slight lisp to match her huge head) and the fact that Crispin Glover was in it, well that was the icing on the cake.  I could go on and on about all the other actors (I heart Alan Rickman), but you get the picture.  Alice Purists have been ranting about the film, but it gave me exactly what I wanted – a wonderful escape on a Saturday afternoon.  4 out of 5 monkeys

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A Serious Man (2009)

I love the Cohen Brothers and the majority of their movies, but I did not get the point of A Serious Man.  I felt like there was this private joke going on throughout the film that I just didn’t get; I felt like an outcast as an audience member.  I have seen many films set in other time periods, such as this one that is set in 1970 and I have never before felt this way.  The film revolves around the character of  Larry Gopnik ( Michael Stuhlbarg), “a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, who has just been informed by his wife Judith (Sari Lennick) that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous acquaintances, Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed), who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry’s unemployable brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny (Aaron Wolff) is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job.” (http://filminfocus.com/focusfeatures/film/a_serious_man/synopsis).  Larry is a pathetic character who fantasizes about standing up for himself, but in reality never does.  After a while, I stopped feeling sorry for him because he wasn’t doing anything proactive.  Granted all of the people around him were causing the problems, but it began to grate on my nerves.  I heard that this film was supposed to be an ode of sort to Joel and Ethan’s father, so maybe for that reason it was worth making.  I can’t really see any other reason.  2 and a half monkeys out of 5.

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