January 31st, 2007

Mary - Grail - get ON with it


I've seen three entertaining movies recently. One at the theatre, and the other two on iControl. iControl is kinda like pay-per-view, except you get the film for a 24-hour period. If it weren't for iControl, we'd probably be signed up for Netflix or the like.

In the theatre:

Pan's Labyrinth. Don't be fooled into thinking this is primarily a fantasy film. I'd say the fantasy bits comprise a mere 25-35% of the film. I think the promotion for this movie has not been particularly representative of what the film really is. Most of the movie is a grim picture of Spanish life and rebellion under Franco in 1944. However, that non-fantasy part of the film is gripping and worth watching on its own. If it wasn't, this movie wouldn't be worth it. In fact, any criticism I'd level at the film would be regarding certain aspects of the fantasy part of the story. Parts of the fantasy elements were not explained to my satisfaction. I'd definitely recommend the film, but I wish I'd gone into it realizing it wasn't necessarily primarily a fantasy film.

On iControl:

An Inconvenient Truth. Straight up global warming documentary with a heavier than expected dose of Gore biography. If you're a Discovery Channel junkie like we are, you'll probably know most of the facts presented. However, it's all put together and presented very well. Some of the chart comparisons were pretty striking. As for the sojourn into Gore's life, he's trying to explain why he got involved and how this has been decades-long interest in his life. I can see a republican possibly getting twitchy during those biography sections.

At the end, you're going to feel guilty to some degree unless you're the most virtuous green person to ever walk the earth. I drive a Prius and our house is powered by wind energy, and at the end Cliff turns to me and says, "Ya know, we really don't recycle."

Little Miss Sunshine. Even though I'm a spoiler whore in most things, I'm glad I went into this not knowing much about it. This was my favorite of the three movies and now I'm going to root for it for Best Picture Oscar. 'Course, I haven't seen any of the others, but that's never stopped me before. ;D

Seriously, it's a family drama/comedy (dramedy?) with a road trip. The little girl is a really good actress, which is good because everyone else is great, too. If Abagail Breslin wasn't good, she would have stuck out like a sore thumb. The dialog and characters are really good and the script makes sure everyone has a story of their own. Huge thumbs up from me.