Movie Reviews

27 01 2008

This morning, I got sucked into The Cabinet of Caligari, and I must say I was impressed. I had heard of “Caligari” before and seen some of the surreal scenes and screen shots referenced in other movies and books, but this was the first time I sat down to watch the entire movie myself. What a great story! 

Just last night I was musing on censorship. With my academic background in secondary education and role as a parent of two boys, I tend to think about this a lot. I understand both sides of the issue. I understand the teacher wanting to teach works that they think will entertain/enlighten their students, but I also understand a parent wanting to have some control over what their kids read (especially during the formative tween years).  I decided that the artistic works the world in general finds most controversial and offensive (examples: Slaughterhouse 5, Lolita, Rap, Heavy Metal, Tideland, David Lynch’s films, William Burroughs — a lot of schools these days won’t allow assigning the works of Mark Twain!?!) are often found to be offensive because of the brutality with which they present certain truths that people do not like to face. From my personal journal I wrote in last night: “They say ‘the truth will set you free,’ but it’s just as likely to get you slapped.”

Caligari tapped right into this train of thought from the night before. The character of Dr. Caligari was percieved as hostile, manipulative, and offensive (he was all these things). However, what the female protagonist found most offensive was the Dr. trying to get inside the truth of her mind and fantasy life. The way I percieved the movie, she found baring her emotional/spiritual/sexual self much more of a violation than that of being seen physically naked, which I think most of us would agree to be true. I can’t think of a way of elaborating further without spoiling anything for the one or two other people out there who haven’t seen this movie or do not know the story. 

I haven’t seen the original 1920 German version, but I intend to now. I was thinking this movie could be updated well and was surprised I had never seen a modern remake (since that’s the majority of what Hollywood typically produces these days). I found it had been remade a couple times, with the most recent being done in 2005. I may have to check these out as well.

Other recent movies I have seen:

*I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: Offensive – yes. Funny – only sometimes, but those times are laugh out loud funny. Worth watching on TV if nothing else is on.
*Sunshine: I enjoyed this one. I felt it was flawed in places, but well worth watching. Danny Boyle delivers again. Not his best, but better than a lot of what’s out there. 
*Melinda and Melinda: Caught it on IFC and it surprised me. I really enjoyed this one. Radha Mitchell does a great job playing the same character in two very different ways.
*September Dawn: Okay if it was a Lifetime movie, I guess. A little one-dimensional in the portrayal of Mormons. I wouldn’t waste my time. Read “Under the Banner of Heaven” instead. 
*Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End: Finally got around to seeing it and I loved this one. It’s rare that Hollywood backs up a franchise this original.
*The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything/A VeggieTales Movie: Saw it with my family at my son’s insistence, and it was a very pleasant surprise. It made my wife and I laugh with various pop culture references while keeping both our 4 year old and 4 month old enthralled.  Highlights include the cavern of carnivorous cheese curls, and the Veggies performing “Rock Monster” to the tune of the B52’s “Rock Lobster.” It also had a good message, focusing on courage.
*Meet the Robinsons: Wonderful. Entertaining and inspiring. The Walt Disney quote sums up the theme of this movie very well: ““Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
*3:10 to Yuma: A great western! Very good. The interaction between Christian Bale and Russell Crowe was fun to watch. I’d love to see those two great actors make another movie together.

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18 responses

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

16 10 2008
bearleyport

censorship, measure
of a civilization
in decline. I think

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.
Nice ku.

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

17 10 2008
southernweirdo

We are in agreement.

Nice ku.

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