Holiday Movies Roundup

Ok, I have no desire to truly review all of the movies that I’ve seen in the past few weeks, especially given Tbone‘s new and detailed reviews. But I would like to quickly say a few things about a few movies:

Lord of the Rings
Review: A+

Simply put, the best movie of the year. Viggo Mortensen should be a star the likes of which we haven’t seen since Harrison Ford. Peter Jackson did a much better job the second time around, and I am only looking forward to the third film.

Catch Me if You Can
Review: A

I know I’m nearly alone when I say that Spielberg (or Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Hanks, too) doesn’t really do much for me, but Catch Me is a fun film. From the opening credits, to the musical score composed by John Williams, you can tell that you’re in for a ride.

I don’t see what’s so great about the dumpy-looking Tom Hanks in this film, but Leonardo Dicaprio is great, and the story is irresistible.

Gangs of New York
Review: B-

Chalk this one up as the disappointment of the year. Of all the holiday movies, I was most looking forward to Martin Scorcese’s realist Gangs. One tiny problem: Marty can’t make movies like this very well– he should stick to the grit of modern-day new york.

The recreated streets of antebellum New York are eye-popping, Daniel Day-Lewis is extraordinary in his role as Bill the Butcher, but it’s the direction and editing that screws everything up. Take the over-the-top symbolism when Leo’s chracter tosses a bible into the river as he leaves on his quest for revenge… Or, the muddled editing during the first nativist/irish gang fight. Save it for the DVD, folks. Maybe then we can see the full Director’s cut.

About Schmidt
Review: A-

The plot is simple, and unresolved at the end, but Schmidt was the most suprisingly good movie of the holidays. Despite some critic’s reviews, I thought Jack Nicholson was the most sincere character on the screen. I didn’t feel as if Jack was giving us the wink wink treatment throughout. Dermot Mulroney, though he got the laughs, almost soured the film, but Kathy Bates provided enough of a counter to Jack’s WASP persona to make the whole thing interesting.

Wish i had more interesting observations…. but hey, I’ve got other fish to fry.

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