I finally finished all but one of those ten movies I bought at Christmastime. I’ve already reviewed five of them, but have three more I’d like to mention with mini reviews.
I was alone in the Blockbuster Video store, except for one female employee, when I was picking these out. We got to talking and when she saw that I had picked out “Paranormal Activity,” she told me that, if I liked to be scared, I would be much happier with “The Fourth Kind.” Since she had seen both, I took her advice. Just so you know…
The Fourth Kind – For those of you not into aliens like I am, the fourth kind of alien encounter is abduction. Anyway, the deal on this movie, or the shtick, I can’t figure out which, is that it is based on true case studies of psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler. She investigated the phenomenon of people who have been vanishing from Alaska since the 1960′s. To add to the authenticity, the movie often features actual archival footage taken by Dr. Tyler alongside of dramatic re-enactments.
The Blockbuster girl told me the movie scared her to death. It didn’t me. It just kind of creeped me out and not in a good way. There’s not much story, but there’s a lot of screaming. A body did levitate in the “real” footage and the re-enactment, but that wasn’t worth the price of admission. I wish now I had stuck to my guns and gotten “Paranormal Activity.”
Crazy Heart – This is the movie for which Jeff Bridges won the Best Actor Academy Award this past year. He plays Bad Blake, a boozy faded country western singer reduced to playing bowling alleys and bars. He meets a journalist, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who causes him to re-evaluate his life and starts him down the road to redemption.
Story-wise, I just told it. It could fit into a teaspoon. Acting-wise, Bridges was brilliant. After watching this movie, I felt like I had known this man my whole life. The little nuances he brought to the role were masterful and touching. And he definitely deserved the award, no doubt about it. This is a movie certainly worth seeing, both for the acting and the music.
District 9 – Okay, I’ll be straight up with you on this one. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this movie! The premise is that aliens appeared twenty-some years ago in a ship that hovered over Johannesburg, South Africa. The aliens, who come to be referred to as “Prawns,” due to their insect/fish-like appearance, were exiled to a slum on the fringe of the city by a government agency. After the newness wore off, they were victimized and exploited by humans. Their presence causes so much civil unrest that, as the movie begins, they are being evicted from their shanty homes to be relocated further out from the city.
One government official is accidentally exposed to a strange alien chemical which changes his life and makes him the object of a manhunt by his own species. Thus he has to rely on the kindness of the only two Prawns he knows.
This movie starts out as if it were a documentary and somewhere toward the middle transitions into cinematography to show the action sequences. This movie has everything – action, tension, humor and moments of pathos.
My best recommendation is that, about three-quarters of the way into the movie, I discovered that I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat, and had been for quite some time. This movie so held my interest that I had no concept of time passing. It was that good. It is so creative and original that I’m sure you haven’t seen anything quite like it. I’m going to try to watch it again this week.
So, that’s it for now, people. Two I’d recommend and one I wouldn’t. If you’ve seen any of these and want to leave your opinions, feel free. I’d be interested.
Meanwhile, try to be good.