4 Movies in 5 Days
I went on a bit of a moviegoing tear this weekend, and saw 4 movies.
1. On Friday, I saw The Devil Wears Prada, which I thought was great. Meryl Streep was fantastic and the lifestyle porn aspect of it was very enjoyable -- many cute outfits, shoes, bags, and houses. Also, Adrian Grenier and Simon Baker.
That being said, the central conflict of the movie was not convincing. We're supposed to think that Andy has sold her soul because she, um, gets mad when her friends are being assholes by keeping her from answering her phone, and misses her boyfriend's birthday when her boss insists that she go to an important work event. This might say a lot about my own workaholic tendencies, but I just didn't get it. If it's true that succeeding at this job would be her ticket to a job that she really wanted in journalism, why can't her friends be expected to be supportive of her? Would this movie make any kind of sense if it was about, say, a male doctor in a really demanding residency? I don't think so. Also, some of Andy's outfits in the early stages of her makeover were horrendous -- very brand conscious in a way that is not fashionable at all.
2. The Road to Guantanamo. This movie tells the story of 3 British citizens who were arrested in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo Bay for more than 2 years before being released. It is sort of a recreation of events by actors interspersed with footage of interviews of the real people. While this addresses a very worthwhile and interesting subject, I don't think it succeeded as a movie. First, a lot of the acting was horrible. Second, the story of what they were doing in Afghanistan was not convincing. They claim that they were in Pakistan for a wedding and decided to go to Afghanistan to help the refugees when the U.S. attacked. After being in Kabhul for awhile with nothing to do, they tried to arrange a ride back to Pakistan but were taken -- unknowingly -- to northern Afghanistan where they were ultimately captured with the Taliban. I just didn't find this believable, and it is disappointing that the movie did not have the conviction to argue that even if they were fighting with the Taliban, their treatment was not justified -- which I think is true.
Still, the movie does a good job of portraying the sheer idiocy of what we are doing at Guantanamo. Putting aside the fact that what we are doing there is illegal, immoral, and a huge strategic mistake, it just seems like a huge waste of time and resources. There's endless footage of US soldiers and marines forcing people to stand up, sit down, line up to be counted, run from one place to another, and be questioned by a long succession of interrogators. And for what? These are just 3 guys from Birmingham.
3. Superman Returns. I went to this with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Brandon Routh has his charms and Kate Bosworth was not as bad as I thought she would be. And some of the actions scenes were great -- especially the one near the beginning. But, ultimately, it dragged. I think maybe that Superman is just not that interesting as a character. He has no dark side like Batman, and no real internal conflict like Spiderman. And he seems to do an awful lot of manual labor -- like catching things that are about to fall on people or stopping things that are about to crash into people. I feel like his talents could be deployed more effectively.
4. The Lake House. I second Holt's endorsement of this movie. Yes, the time travel aspect of it made my head hurt. But Chicago looked beautiful, and the characters were appealing. I really liked, and sort of want, Sandra Bullock's short haircut.