With the family away, I have been catching up on an array of DVDs that I have been meaning to watch. The genres span drama, action adventure and romantic comedy. If I only had a teen movie in the mix, my media blitz would be complete.
Benjamin Button: This delightful film was highly regarded by my wife and she went as far to say that it deserved more Oscar awards than it received. I was very impressed with Brad Pitt’s performance as well as the make-up and cinematography. The plot of the movie was a novel twist on how ones perspective changes with age and experience. I would give this film a must rent recommendation. As I watch my parents get older, it has given me a new respect for youth. One of my Mother’s familiar sayings is to “Never be proud of youth or money, as they always disappear.”
Body of Lies: This was an interesting spin on intelligence work in the Middle East. The mission is seen through the eyes of an operative (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the man back in Washington (Russell Crowe). Crowe’s performance was a bit strained, but he did make a very believable man at hands length away from the action. DiCaprio did a great job with his role and reinforced that he could cross cultures as he did on “Blood Diamond” and “The Departed.” If you like action adventure movies, this is a great rental. However, if you just like the cast, it is probably not worth watching as the characters fly in the face of the roles that made the actors famous.
Vicky Christina Barcelona: I have not seen many of Woody Allen’s movies. I was not impressed by “Sweet and Lowdown.” I just recently learned that he directed “Match Point” and I did enjoy that movie. I did not know what to expect with this installment with the clever name. The plot is based on two friends spending the summer in Barcelona and the adventures that take place abroad. I am a big fan of romantic comedies and this one certainly maintained my interest. I am also a big fan of narration, whether from a character’s point of view or from a neutral narrator’s point of view. This combination was too good to pass up and it was well cast. The supporting roles just nailed the stereotypes they were assigned to play. It made me consider my own life and the balance of stability and excitement that I settle into. It is another definite rental for fans of the cast or of romantic comedies in general.