A night (or two) at the movies

It’s been a veritable movie bonanza for us of late…

First up: Crash. In the wake of all the Oscar publicity and whatnot, we finally got a chance to see this one. And after seeing it, I have to wonder how/why this movie won the award for Best Picture. The first 20-30 minutes of the movie were just flat-out awful. Then it got better for the middle hour. But then it finished all weak and hokey. And subtle this movie is not—it goes so out of its way to let you know “hey, this is supposed to be a microcosm of the racism in this world” that the characters often becomes caricatures of what they’re trying to portray. So it was an OK flick, but I still don’t get the hype. (Maybe the rumors of an L.A. home job for the award have some merit, I dunno.)

Next up: A History of Violence. Oh dear lord, what an awful movie. I really don’t get what the good press for this movie was about. Like Crash, the first 20-30 minutes of the movie were just flat-out awful. Then it got worse. And then it finished all weak and hokey. The actors never could settle on how to look bad, alternating constantly between wooden and over-the-top. Not even Maria Bello in a cheerleader skirt (if you’ve seen the movie, you know) could save this one. Most disappointing movie I’ve seen in years.

Next: The Woodsman. OK, yes, it’s a Kevin Bacon movie. But it came highly recommended from a mutual friend (who tends to have pretty good taste in movies), so we watched it. And much to my surprise, it was quite well done and was not completely over the top—no mean feat in Hollywood given the movie’s subject matter. It was as surprisingly good as Violence was surprisingly wretched.

Finally: Mad Hot Ballroom. Not really up my alley, but my sweetie loves this sort of thing, and she loved this one. And I have to admit, it was rather cute and quite entertaining. A decent way to end the weekend.