The Movie Lovers

His - and - her movie reviews from a husband and wife who love cinema.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Explanation for Inactivity

To anyone who has happened by to read our comments and reviews: there will be no more husband-wife commentary.
On February 12, 2006, Brian Kelley passed away.
My entire philosophical-religious construct has been shattered; I question and wonder what happened to him after he passed, if he is still present and can see/know things at this level of reality, or if he is in another plane entirely disconnected from our level.
Regardless of my ontological dilemma, I do not know whether I will continue to review movies on my own or not; much of the inspiration for the reviews came from responding to Brian's comments and our interaction. So while I'd encourage readers to not give up, there are no guarantees...and either way I will be taking a break from reviews for the time being.....

Friday, February 04, 2005

Harry Potter on the way...

I had all but forgotten that we recently viewed "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

Review to come...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Looking Forward to Returning to the Return

WOW! What a difference a few more minutes (of film) makes! I know that Return of the King was already long, but there were deleted scenes on the DVD that I think should have been kept in no matter WHAT! The entire storyline is so much more coherent, what with the missing pieces falling together and everything! Looking forward to further viewing...

The King Begins To Return

Last night we watched the beginning of the superduper special extended DVD edition of "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

I feel better now, having seen the fate of Saruman and Grima Wormtongue.

Yes.

More to follow.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

THE STEPFORD WIVES (DVD): "Lite"

How many enjoyable movies can we recommend without some degree of reservation? I enjoyed this remake of "The Stepford Wives," on DVD, and we didn't need tickets, much less reservations...

I am not a fan of Nicole Kidman, but I must admit I enjoyed her performance in this film. It was refreshing to see her usually "glam" look toned down (until later in the movie) with a short brunette 'do which suited her surprisingly well and made her look less pretentious than usual. AlsoI must admit that she does a superb "American" accent.

The casting of Matthew Broderick as Nicole's husband was an interesting choice; I have great affection for him but even as he ages, his boyish naivete and appearance made me feel he wasn't old enough to be Nicole's mate or a Stepford husband. Nevertheless, I always enjoy seeing him perform as I have great affection for him and his body of work.

As for Brian's confusion regarding the particulars of the Stepford Wives' source of deviation (were they robots, or just women with nanochips implanted?), I have to respond with a resounding, what difference did it really make? The "chorus" of neighborhood women who seemed so unnaturally perfect in their very 50s-reminiscent trappings, were quite effective in creating the sense that something was very wrong here. That we weren't sure exactly how they'd been "altered," did not, in my opinion, detract significantly from enjoyment of either the unfolding of the story or the primary actors' performances.

In viewing this film, I expected "lite" entertainment and that is what I got. Yes, much more could have been done with this story line and this theme. But it seems that a serious investigation of the ramifications of "playing God" and artificially creating someone's idea of a perfect anything, will have to be found in other movies. This film was more interested in being comedic rather than creepy (although it was not devoid of creepiness altogether!). And I was genuinely surprised by the plot twist which occurred near the end. But I am gullible, ask anyone.

Not every movie has soul. Sometimes a movie is just a movie. This was just a movie, not great, not terrible. If you're looking for some "lite" entertainment, this one might be just the thing.

The Stepford Wives: On DVD

While it's true that I did enjoy viewing Frank Oz's comdedic remake of "The Stepford Wives," it is equally true that I can't in good conscience recommend it without reservation. A curious lumpiness mars the film, the reason for which finally becomes obvious when viewing the DVD's deleted scenes. A large amount of (probably very expensive) CGI was cut from the theatrical film, and these scenes -- entertaining by themselves -- reveal how fundamentally mixed-up the film is.

It's never clear -- still isn't -- whether these are women who have been replaced by robots, or women who have had "nanochips" implanted in their brains to implement their Stepford Wife programming. (The phrase is common enough that it should require no explanation). Since the movie doesn't know, neither do we, and this distancing confusion renders all of the top-tier actors as poorly-drawn cartoons. Fun, bouncy cartoons, to be sure, but lacking sufficient dimensionality to fully engage our empathy. Are we supposted to care about the plight of Joanna (Nicole Kidman) and her feckless husband Walter (Matthew Broderick)? Or just laugh as they're put through the obligatory plot points? Both? Neither?

It's a terrific looking film, all bright surfaces and beautiful houses. But in this film, as it is in Stepford CT, the beauty's all superficial, and underneath the skin whirs the clockwork of precision-tested mechanisms. No soul.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Opening Credits

Title cards fade in and out over black screen:

Card 1: THE MOVIE LOVERS

Card 2: His And Hers Movie Reviews

Card 3: By gincon and upasakabrian

Card 4: Enjoy the show!

Card 5: Don't forget to visit our refreshment stand!