Friday, September 24, 2010

Mao's Last Dancer

Yesterday I was treated to a most wonderful movie. Mao's Last Dancer.  I enjoyed the movie so much I want to go buy the book and read more of this main characters story. Expect for Bruce Greenwood, I did not recognize any of the actors, mainly because they were dancers. What dancers and what a story. A story of a young boy chosen from a village to go to Beijing to train as a dancer. This young boy had no interest in ballet, but had the flexibility and therefore was sent to the school. He came from a large family, his name being sixth son (of seven) and was known as Li (Lee). The editing was wonderful as it wove the story of his early years with what happened when he came to the U.S. on a three month visa to study with the Huston Ballet. The sensitivity, the creative dancing, the story of relationships were all wonderfully directed and woven and photographed.  Plus it shows a little of the regime at the time of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. As you can tell I cannot say enough about the quality of the movie. Tears at the end of course helped, as the show came to a conclusion. And I loved, as usual, the end notes that tell you what happened to the main characters.  This one I give 5 out of 5.  A must see!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Going the Distance

Last night I took in the late movie of Going the Distance. There were five of us in the theatre, two couples and then older me. What surprised me with this movie was how much I laughed. I left the theatre with a good feeling which surprised me. I as not expecting to be so entertained. Now there is a definate generation gap with the movie. The use of the F word with both males and females should not longer surprise me, but it does. Is it really necessary? I don't personally think it adds to the movie, but heh I'm older and we did not speak like that when I grew up. But the laughs, the jokes, the inside relationship jokes were so well written and executed by the supporting actors. I though Justin Long was a bit stiff, like he was walking through the role.  Drew Barrymore was her usual Drew self, which is good. The guy who played Dan took the movie though. His lines were executed wonderfully well. For my age group though to enjoy this movie you have to look beyond the language and enjoy the great deliveries.  Surprise, surprise I give this 3 out of 5 for enjoyment. Its been awhile since I left a movie feeling warm inside.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Last night several of us had supper and then went to see Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts. Although one of us had to leave to attend a husband who was not well, the rest of us said how much we enjoyed it at the end. Personally, I found the first two sections a bit slow. The divorce and romancing the young actor for some reason (for me) did not 'take'.  Not sure what or why, perhaps the chemistry wasn't there, but I was glad when she left for Italy. This part of the book I had enjoyed, here it seemed disjointed at times and then she arrives in India. Here is where the movie took off for me. The scenes rolled together, and the storyline flowed. Humor was introduced and somehow I relaxed into the story. And then Bali. The beauty, the ease and the essence of the story line. Although my friends said how much they enjoyed it, I kept quiet in that I thought it could have been better. For instance, I would have liked (and was waiting for) the postscript that comes up at the end saying what happened to them (even though many of us had read the book and knew - I wanted to read it). I feel the movie could have been a bit better, if they had Julia Roberts act as a narrator transitioning the events, filling in some of the deeper emotional moments.  Oh well, what do I know. I just think it would have made it much better. I really wanted that postscript and I felt a bit let down when it wasn't there.  This movie was a person's life, not just a book and yet somehow the movie was made like it was just another made up book.
Therefore I give it 3 stars out of 5.  (nearly only gave it 2 1/2) but the scenes of the locals were great.