I don't think I'll break any records this vacation as I have been going to the movies so often, there's not much out there I haven't seen and still want to.
Wait, I forgot films opened today because of Thanksgiving tomorrow. "I'm Not There," the Bob Dylan movie starring a bunch of disparate people playing Dylan (including Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, and a young black boy), started today across the street. I think I have another film to see...
"No Country for Old Men" was a really good, powerfully made, well-acted film. And violent. A friend told me not to worry when I said I was afraid to see it because of the violence; he'd seen it and thought it would be fine. Now I am beginning to wonder about him, because it was really violent and really bloody. Blood is practically a separate character in the film. True, it's the calm slow realistic violence, not the cars-crashing, buildings-exploding, bodies-burning violence you see so often these days, but that violence is numbing and this kind of violence is terrifying, because it's more real.
The movie is quiet, deliberate, direct. It's essentially a long chase scene, a man hunting another, a sheriff bound by duty to hunt both. There are some remarkable scenes where almost nothing happens but your heart jumps out of your throat, like the old-school thrillers. Sound is almost another character - footsteps, the ticking of a tracking device, the thud of a briefcase. When a car does crash into another it's not the musically scored screech and blast of bigger films, but an abrupt metal on metal impact that is over before you can swallow again.
The movie is very very good, and yet I don't think I could ever watch it again.
"Park" is an independent comedy I'd never heard of that had nothing going for it but that it was one of the few movies I'd not seen and it started about the time I wanted to be sitting in a theater out of the cold sleet and rain. It's a weird, quirky, odd little movie about a park in California that draws a group of misfits: a suicidal young woman, a lonely dog-washer and his hot little Polish helper, a cheating husband in a big SUV, and a group of young corporate types on their lunch hour eating sushi in a van. Throw in a blender, shake, pour. Before it's over we have a converted lesbian, a duct-taped SUV, a blonde in a maid's uniform off to a come-to-Jesus mission lunch, a romantic interlude in the dog's bath, and a near naked man (wearing tight shorts that reveal his butt cheeks) covered in green vomit. Not hilarious, but it had its moments. It'll do if you want a laugh.
(Me, I played "how many of these actors now have hit TV shows, since this was made in 2006? Billy Baldwin, the cheater, is Patrick on "Dirty Sexy Money;" one of the girls in the van is the Cut-throat Bitch on "House;" the other, Melanie Lynskey, has been Charlie Sheen's neighbor on "Two and a Half Men" (knowing if she's still a regular would mean I'd have to watch that show more than when I'm flipping during commercials during "Heroes"); one of the guys in the van plays Sanjay on "Weeds," the gay about-to-be-a-baby-daddy drug dealer. Oh, and there's Ricki Lake - whatever is she up to these days?)