Monday, August 22, 2011

Different Era--Same Abuse of Power

The Conspirator (Loved It)--This movie depicts the trial of Mary Surratt. She was one of the alleged conspirators in the assassination of President Lincoln. Now I am making no judgments on whether she was guilty or not guilty, but regardless of what she knew or didn't know, the way her trial was handled was wrong.

This movie is directed by Robert Redford, so I will admit it has a more liberal spin to it, but it fits my feelings to a tee. And, I can say, I've recommended this movie to more politically conservative friends, and they loved the movie as well. So, I think everyone should watch this movie. It makes you think. That is not a bad thing.

The movie is from a new company call the American Film Company. They want to make movies that are historically accurate and depict true events. This film met that goal. It shows what can happen when hysteria and fear envelop a nation. I feel that Mary Surratt was a victim of this type of environment and shows what can happen when there is an abuse of power.

I feel we are in an era where there is also a lot of fear and worry. I think our country is great and that our government is a little broken now, but it is still based on the correct principles. But, there are times when it makes mistakes. This film shows one of those times.

The performances are great, especially Robin Wright as Mary Surratt and Kevin Kline as Edwin Stanton (the Secretary of War). The other performances by James McAvoy and Evan Rachel Wood are also great. This film is just very well made and should be seen. It didn't get a lot of attention when it was in the box office, so I trying to get the word out, SEE THIS MOVIE! It's worth the rental.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So you know I'm not a Republican. . .

Fair Game (Liked It)--So I was not a big fan of George W. Bush's administration. Actually I'm not really a fan of politicians in general. But I like political movies. For instance-All the President's Men, the Insider and this movie.

It tells the story of Valerie Plame, who was the CIA operative that was outed by the Bush administration when her husband wrote a story contradicting the "evidence" that there were WMD's in Iraq (which I may need to remind people that there WEREN'T any).

Naomi Watts and Sean Penn do a very good job of portraying Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson (her husband). Now I don't know how accurate the movie was but the commentary by the actual couple seems to think it's accurate enough.

It does a good job of showing what abuse of political power can do to people. Now I feel that Washington D.C. is broken and that both of the major political parties have ISSUES, but to do what Scooter Libby (and not to be petty, but no adult should be called Scooter), did to this family and this women's career is WRONG and for W. to have pardoned him, is even worse.

The story keeps your attention, the plot moves along, and the performances are good. There is some really unnecessary bad language at the beginning of the movie, that makes it PG-13, but the rest is clean, clean, clean. So I would highly recommend this movie to anyone.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I love Matt Damon!

The Adjustment Bureau (Loved it Enough to Buy It)--I LOVE Matt Damon. Other than Robert Redford, I own more movies with Matt Damon in them than any other actor, and I like them all. So, it should not come as a surprise that I loved the Adjustment Bureau.

I liked the movie because it explored themes of destiny, free will, God (although code named the Chairman), and love. This movie was not afraid to explore those themes. Not many movies that make it in the mainstream do that much anymore. There is so much trash out there now and it's easy to find mindless entertainment, but I still like/love a movie that makes you think. This movie did that for me. I thought it was fun to see how little coincidences or chances and how you react to them, can affect your life. You just never know what's going to lead you down a different path.

I thought the chemistry between the Matt Damon and Emily Blunt was great. They seemed to really like each other which always helps when you're trying to believe these two are lovers torn apart by fate. Emily Blunt is another one of my favorite actresses. Ever since The Devil Wears Prada, I have been a fan of hers, and she works in this movie for me.

I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but this movie will make you think, keeps the suspense up until the end, and has pretty people to look at, so what's not to love.

If you're looking for a good rental, rent this. It's worth the 90 minutes and the $1.07 it will cost you to Redbox it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Go to see "The Help"!!!

The Help (Love It Enough To Buy It)--So, I bought the book "The Help" last year when my friend Heidi came to visit. She recommended the book and so I bought a copy. It took me a little while to get to reading it and I admit that it took about five chapters in before I was hooked. But then, I loved it. I know there has been some "controversy" because a white woman was writing a black woman's perspective, but to be honest, anything that revisits the turmoil and strife of the civil rights need in the country is alright with me.

So now to the movie. The movie is a very good adaptation of the book. For me books are almost always better, but I think this movie did a wonderful job of conveying the most important parts of the story and helps to develop the relationships beautifully.

Viola Davis as Abileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny are mind blowingly good. I LOVED their performances, and felt they perfectly captured the women in that book. Break out the Oscars, because they deserve nominations. The younger ladies did well too. Emma Stone does a good job with Skeeter and Bryce Dallas Howard is pitch perfect as Hilly. I can't stand her (the character) and that is a good thing. Bryce absolutely conveys the bigotry and ignorance that was pervasive and strong in that era.

The supporting cast is also good. There is not a weak performance in the movie and I really liked Allison Janney as Skeeter's mother (she's always one of my favorites).

I also thought the film did a great job of conveying the fear that the two lead maids felt and the fear and degredation that the other maids in the movie felt as well. The worry that your whole life could change or end because you step out of line, was hard to watch, but needs to be seen. There's a line in the book that white men will fight it out, but that white women will pick away like a dental tool until they get what they want. This is shown in the movie and it's scary that people will abuse and use their power that way.

I love the scene where the other maids finally decide to tell their stories. They are scard to death, but they are brave enough to show what really goes on and to get this information out. I also like that not all white people in the movie are awful, some of the maids have good stories about the families they work for. They show the good and the bad.

Go see this movie.

It's told from the perspective of women, but I think it's not a "chick flick". Men and women, young and old should see this movie, and how the history behind it is still shaping our world today.

I recently had a book club that was talking about Germany and the rules that outlawed Jews from basic citizenship. Someone in the discussion asked if this could ever happen in America. I told him to go see this movie, The Help, because it shows that we've already been there. We need to remember the past so we don't repeat it.