Monday, September 18, 2006

At the Movies


Last night I went to the movies with my friend Lili to see the latest Almodovar film, Volver. It was all about women: mothers and daughters, sisters, aunts, friends. Amazing how he can do that, Almodovar, get into the lives of women. It was quieter than his movies usually are, more restrained, less colorful, less shock. Not as good as Bad Education which literally left me sitting stunned in my seat uttering "He is a genius" for several minutes.
But still. It held my interest. What is going on? What will happen next? It was just a pleasure to watch. Penelope Cruz is stunningly beautiful. Carmen Maura is better than ever. And everyone else was wonderful too, producing sympathetic characters.


I have honored my "last Spielberg dollar spent" promise since the duo of Shindler's List and Jurassic Park turned me off of the blockbuster director. I even avoided "Private Ryan".
Catch Me if You Can
managed to slip through a few years ago and that was only because I'd loved the bookso much. The book was way better but thanks to DiCaprio the movie at least wasn't awful. I may have even seen it on a plane, thus avoiding keeping my vow never to spend another cent on a Spielberg movie.
"Munich" came our way cost free. But still. It has caused me to reasses my vow. As of now, I swear never to spend another second on a Spielberg movie. Yes, it was that bad. Why? Let's start with the beginning. The film deals with the terror attack carried out on Israeli atheletes at the Olympic compound in Munich in 1972. (Perhaps I should warn you that my critique will contain spoilers. However, the facts of what happened are well known and are pretty much summarized in, say, the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on the subject. The rest of the film is based on a highly fictional account which is so implausible that knowing or not knowing the outline ahead of time makes it no more or less surprising. Besides, I am hoping to save you the pain of wasting your time on this film.)
Since this event took place under the eyes of actual, modern film crews, there presumably exists some rather pertinent footage. Heck, this event took place during my lifetime. So, if you wanted to show footage, you could show actual footage. Which I guess he sort of did. For quite a while. And too confusing what was footage, what was film.
"Is the whole movie going to be like this?" I asked Adi in despair. You could actually make a good documentary based on the footage. But this was supposed to be a thriller.

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