Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Watching the owner's movies

While we’ve been in the apartment in Valencia, we’ve been making use of the owner’s DVD machine and his collection of DVDs. It’s not an extensive collection, but there are some interesting films there. I haven’t been able to persuade my wife to watch Monsters Inc again - I think it’s one of the best and funniest of the series of animated movies of the last decade. I went to see it with my younger son when it first came out, and I’ll never forget our last few minutes in the cinema. The film ends with some spurious outtakes, and at the time these seemed even funnier than the rest of the movie. The two of us were killing ourselves with laughter.
The owner’s also got a couple of Martin Scorcese movies: Raging Bull and Taxi Driver. We began to watch Raging Bull the other night, but gave up after the first ten minutes; the innate violence of the character de Niro plays just gets tedious. Instead we watched Memento, a film I’ve now seen three times. Each time I watch it I wonder if I’ve really got hold of what happens/happened. I think it’s a marvellous movie, and Guy Pierce gives a great performance - but who dun what?
The only other one we’ve watched was Finding Neverland - again, we’d seen it before. Still it’s a delightful movie, excellently performed, especially by the adult leads (Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet) and it was worth watching again. By all accounts the storyline is way off the truth, but it makes good viewing!
What would make all these movies even better would be if we had discount home theater seating - the sort that’s in the picture. Problem is, even though the living area in this apartment is substantial, seating of that size would take up most of the room…
I've just remembered I did watch another movie: Dr Strangelove, which I don't think I'd t seen since it first came out. Like so many Kubrick movies, it hasn't stood the test of time well. Kubrick didn't seem to have enough idea of pacing, and as he got older, his movies got longer and more wearisome. There are scenes, such as the one in the War Room, that go on and on; and after the Slim Pickens character goes sailing off on the hydrogen bomb (which was hair-raising when I first saw the movie) there's another scene which adds nothing to the point the film has already made more than adequately. Even Sellers' attempts to persuade Sterling Hayden's character of the wrongness of his actions is dragged out.
Kubrick gets great performances from the cast, though I think I prefer Peter Sellers' restrained President to his Dr Strangelove. The latter is too much over the top and too goonish for the rest of the movie. But Hayden is superb, and so is Keenan Wynn in his brief appearance. George C Scott plays his role without quite the subtlety it requires, but it works well enough. And it was interesting to see a very young James Earl Jones as one of the crew of the B52. I didn't recognise him until my wife pointed out that she knew that voice.
Post a Comment