Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Movie Reviews

The election, as expected, turned out to be a resounding victory for Uribe. My wife was disappointed, but her candidate has no chance - less than 1% of the vote. At any rate, there isn't much to do in Colombia on election weekends because there are "dry" laws. They don't allow people to buy or sell alcohol during elections or other important national events, which is probably clever. It doesn't really help the turnout, but at least people aren't out until 3 in the morning getting trashed the night before the election.

Not that we are big party animals at this point, but with few other options, we saw a couple movies over the weekend. The first was Match Point. This movie has been out for awhile, but I really didn't know anything about it. That's probably because it's a Woody Allen movie and I normally have a strict prohibition on all of his productions. Maybe it's his miserably stupid portrayal of sexual relations between men and women and the central theme of cheating that seem to dominate his films or maybe it's just that I think his movies generally suck. Either way, I've never been a fan of his films.

Match Point, however, was surprisingly good in a depressing way. It takes place in London, so it's got some nostalgia going for it and it stars Scarlett Johansson, so it's got that going for it as well. But it's a pretty good movie overall and it's certainly a clever characterization of the English. I didn't really like the climax, mostly because it was an extremely dark portrayal of humanity, but overall a good flick.

On Sunday we went to The Da Vinci Code. We both enjoyed it, but I definitely understand the criticism of the movie. Now, I wouldn't give it the dismal reviews that it's received in tons of newspapers. In fact, I think the terrible reviews just reveal how totally unclever and at times, monstrously stupid movie reviews can be. It's not a bad movie by any stretch, no matter how many reviewers hated it. No, my theory for the bad reviews is that the expectations were extremely high and when they didn't meet those expectations, the reviews went south. Classicly myopic, if you ask me.

At any rate, the most noticeably surprising thing about the movie (aside from the fact that they changed the ending) was that it's clearly not an action/adventure movie. There are very few moments when one feels genuine danger for the characters. Instead, Ron Howard focused more on the history and the conspiracy. I think he got it wrong on that one. In fact, I think he clearly wasted time doing things that were unnecessary. The introduction of Tom Hanks' character, for example, was something they invented and took between 5-10 minutes of film time. To make the movie truly great, they needed a better blend of action and conspiracy.

In the end, however, we enjoyed it and it's definitely the type of movie that gets one talking. We had a bit of a theological conversation afterwards, which was revealing. It's amazing just how deep the Mary Magdalene was a prostitute myth has perpetrated Catholic teaching, for example. Find that one in the Bible for me, won't you?


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