Sunday, January 15, 2006

how this is really the best time to see movies

two quick movie reviews (please note that i saw these on back-to-back nights and not in a double feature):

"munich"
starring eric bana and the new james bond
directed by steven spielberg

nobody has the talent of filling up each shot with incredibly interesting visuals that speilberg has. he's truly amazing. but recently, he's made a habit of directing really great scenes in the middle of really middling stories. maybe it's the content. maybe it's just having uninspiring material in front of him. kinda makes sense that if you're gonna end a streak of bad movies, it might as well be about the assassinations of the palestinian terrorists who killed the isreali hostages during the 1972 olympics - an interesting topic well done. the performances were great - especially bana - and it's exquisitely shot and edited and professional. it did go on too long, and it went from being a movie about the assassinations to another movie about the effects of them. and that's been another of his faults - shoving too many stories to fit into a movie. but it's not as bothersome in this flick. damn worth seeing for so many reasons.

"match point"
starring jonathan rhys-meyers and the beautiful and bountiful scarlett johansson
written and directed by woody allen

i read reviews that this was the best woody allen movie in years, but that's like saying that this can of beer is better than the case of coors light i just drank. but it really is, and you can say that it's his best movie since "crimes and misdemeanors". which is ironic, considering that the two movies are cousins, maybe even first cousins. the usual woody characters and dialogue are in this film too, except portrayed by younger british actors. and it really adds something, to see and hear everything woody but not filmed in the upper west side. it does drag too long - what serious woody film doesn't? - but it's completely interesting and engaging that it's really no big deal. all the performances are damn good, but scarlett is truly fantastic. she's genuinely and abundantly talented - and that wasn't a tit joke. it's good to revel in woody's brilliance again. it's been a long time coming. anything less would have been a travesty of a mockery of a sham of two mockeries of a sham.

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