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
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
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
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.
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.