4 May 2009

Monthly Movies: April'09

Oh boy, in spite of all my good intentions it's been another slow movie month. I just can't seem to motivate people around me to join in a movie outing, and I've been too tired to make the effort to go by myself! I miss living smack downtown within two blocks of 2 good movie theatres with a wide selection of interesting films (i.e. when I was in Liège). Sigh! Add to that the fact that, although I really enjoyed these films and they were very good, they weren't particularly wonderful... although that might be my current fatigue speaking, the reports below I wrote as I came back from each film so they're probably a bit more enthusiastic. ;o)

Deception: Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor... what more could anyone ask for?! :o) Wow! Talk about being late to the game... I caught this the day it came out in Spain, and just discovered that it's been almost a year since it came out in the US!!! The original title is much more appropriate than the Spanish title (La Lista) which kind of acts as a red herring by letting you think the "list" is a key part of the plot, but niet, just the bait for the hook. I can't quite decide whether I liked the film or not, but one thing's for sure the performances by the three leads are excellent! Hugh is charming and charismatic, Ewan surprises as a bland character at the beginning, and the lovely and enigmatic Michelle Williams shows just what she can do.

Les Femmes de l'Ombre (English title Female Agents): another movie released here a year after its original release date (in France), but that's more common, for some reason it takes the Spanish dubbing industry longer to dub French films than English-language ones... go figure! Hmmm... for some reason it bugs me even more to hear Spanish over a French film than an English-language one... dunno why! :p Anyhow, back to the movie. An true and little-known WW2 story of French women recluted by British services to rescue a British geologist (in a German hospital in Normandy) before the Germans find out about him and the plans for D-Day. Secondary plan, kill the principal Nazi character. Great group of actresses (headlined by Sophie Marceau as well as Julie Depardieu and Marie Gillain) bringing to life an interesting and not frequently told story (that of women's participation in WW2). Definitely had the feel of a French film (as opposed to a glorious Hollywood version of the story), quite real and at times bleak (as war is). Just wish it had been in French!!!

State of Play (La sombra del Poder): wow, it's been a while since I've enjoyed Russell Crowe in a movie, but I really liked his turn as an investigative reporter giving his all for a friend in this one! Good work also from the rest of the cast, particularly Hellen Mirren as a strong editor and Rachel McAdams as a gutsy young reporter (originally a blogger for the paper!). Plus it's always nice to see Robin "Buttercup" Wright Penn! ;o) And for once I also enjoyed Ben Affleck's turn as the bright congressman who calls on his old college friend for help! That guy needs to keep chosing good projects like this and he'll eventually make us forget all his lapses in judgement over the past decade... Anyhow, a thrilling, tight, well-knit story, apparently adapted from a BBC 6-episode series (which took place in London, this one in D.C.), condensed to fit a 2h movie format, but you wouldn't notice anything missing nor does it feel rushed (but I haven't seen the series so can't compare). Also of interest are the glimpses we get through our reporters of how the newspaper world works, with some interesting discussions as to the increasing financial pressure they're under and the insistence (by those in charge of the purses) of selling copies over good news habits... A good choice when you're wondering which movie to pick.

Must make more of an effort in May to head out to the cinema... some of this month's releases should be experienced on the BIG screen! ;o)

And to sign off, if you're a science fiction fan, I recommend checking out this column by
Yaniz over at Airlock Alpha on why science fiction films deserve to be taken more seriously by the "awards community". There are some excellent science fiction films that have been made in the past several decades, thought-provoking on a variety of subjects, and they never seem to get the proper recognition


  1. Thanks for the reviews. Hugh Jackman is currently my fav (just watched Australia last weekend.) I will definitely go see these movies. Actually I wonder if Deception is on Netflix - have to check.

  2. Ah yes Hugh! I've added him to my list of actors I'll watch in just about anything! ;o)
    Or make that I'll watch just about anything with him in it! By which I mean I pretty much trust his judgment when it comes to picking which movies he'll agree to be in. And he's damn good in Deception! (I really missed hearing his voice in that!)

  3. Mmmh, i'm a movie freak but i've not watched any of those. I'll look out for deception though cause hugh jackman is just...ooooh!!! lol.

    ...and thanks for sharing on my blog! Yup, the best thing is to try to avoid the police. Unfortunately, they seem to have the time to take you to the station...probably cause they work (and share the money) in groups so they can spare manpower lol. But if you pretend to be driving them to somewhere important and pretend to know someone improtant they'd freak out. Maybe i'll try that next time i can't run away lol.


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