a week in movies

I live less than fifteen miles from Hollywood. You’d think I’d see more movies than I do. I don’t. I’ve never really liked movies, unless it’s for the visuals. I get plot and character, twists and metaphors, from books. Unless a movie has a visual element to it – scenery, setting, visuals intrinsic to the plot – I would rather read. Exceptions are made if the movie has really big special effects that require LOTS OF THINGS TO BE DESTROYED.

But this week, I’ve seen a couple movies. I saw “Mr & Mrs Smith” on Sunday. Lots of things blowing up. And the chemistry between Brad & Angelina was, indeed, everything tabloids said it was. Every time they got within physical proximity of each other, I expected them to start tearing each others’ clothes, and not even getting them all the way off. And, of course, lots of things blew up. I’m not sure if it was cheesy or metaphorical, the devices and settings used – the weapons, devices and reconnaissance techniques seemed inspire by sixties–James-Bond – but if used as plot devices, the lack of realism was fine. Ditto the top level storyline, which was ridiculous, but as a plot device to bring out tension and drama, the idea of two spies shacked up is ludicrous but compelling.

Only annoyance? That kid from the OC – Adam Brody – as a hit target. He was basically Seth Cohen. What was his crime? Making emo too mainstream? I’d order him hit for that.

And last night, I saw Batman Begins. I haven’t seen the other two Batmans in years. I won’t even admit the existence of the 1997 version. I was always more into the cartoons (Batman the cartoon in the 1990s was shockingly good, and I adored Batman Beyond). But I thorougly enjoyed this movie. It gave Gotham a whole new atmosphere, without going so far from the Gothic Futurama Art Deco inspired world of the comics and original movies. Christian Bale was a fantastic choice for brooding and drama. Katie Holmes didn’t annoy me, for the first time ever. Lots of things blew up. It was great. And the director did an amazing job of using flashbacks to pack a ridiculous amount of content into a two and a quarter hour film, giving just enough detail to allow a viewer to extrapolate plot, psychological profile, motive, narrative from the information given.

Oh, and I think the actor playing the evil doctorwas absolutely gorgeous, if way too young to be credible as the head of an asylum on the wrong side of town, AND a mad doctor to boot.

Next nerd movie event is “War of the Worlds”. Two more weeks. And then Willy Wonka. I’ll have good excuses to get into theater air conditioning this summer.

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