A Tale of Two Movies

16 Aug

The-Time-Travelers-Wife-eric-ban-1.jpg image by thisbookforfree

I saw two movies this weekend… on the same day.  I fulfilled my melodramatic love with “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and then exploded into “The Hurt Locker.”

Both films satisfied, but which one came out on top?

I went and saw Timetraveler’s wife with my Mom at 2 because we had both read the book in the family and were excited for the movie.  We shrugged off that it was delayed for 6 months…  So, first thoughts on seeing the trailer for it on television was “Oh my god… it’s totally a chick flick” and “Goddamnit.”

To counter those thoughts, I have to say that this movie isn’t totally targeted towards women.  I got some enjoyment out of it.  The goddamnit thought probably remains true.

The core problem to this movie is that the viewer needs to read the book for the film not to seem as goofy.  They don’t really change anything from the book, but they do leave a bunch out (all of which they left out was for the greater good and I agree with the Screenwriter’s decisions).  Whenever the timetravelling guy has to explain an awkward situation to a friend or a little girl he’s just like “well, I’m a time traveller…” as if it’s a totally normal thing.  I guess it’s just not made to be as big of a deal about the whole travelling thing.  Plus, as a viewer, you really need to let all of the paradoxes of time travel go to really enjoy the film.  I got caught up on a couple things and that soured a couple of scenes for me.

Overall, the acting’s good and the cinematography is standard.  The movie was better than I thought, but not amazing.

However, the best part of the film was who just happened to be the band playing at the wedding….. a stripped-down quartet version of Broken Social Scene.  My Mom can attest to how giddy I became as soon as I saw them.

See?  See?  That’s them back there!  WOOOO HOOO!

3StarRatingscopy.jpg picture by PseudoPsychic


Aaron and I saw “The Hurt Locker” in the evening at 8, and I have to say that I strongly believe this is an Oscar contender.

Okay, I guess I have to admit that I really haven’t talked too much about movies here on the blog… you know, it’s been “Comic Books!  Comic books! Comic Books!” which can get a little tiresome for some of my friends or other people who just aren’t into it.  Film’s a more accessible medium to most people (just because it’s in the media more… I believe comics are as, if not more, accessible than films…) who are out there.  I’m actually a Communications Major with an emphasis on film and comics…. so, I probably should talk about the former more often.  I suppose you should just expect a lot more in the winter when all the Indie/Oscar-y films come out.

This film follows Staff Sergeant James and his 3 person squad consisting himself, Sanborn, and Eldridge.  They’re an elite military bomb squad scowering the streets and counting down the days to their rotation.  Now, James has just been brought in after the last guy lost his life when a bomb exploded and killed him.  James takes risks.  Such as, why wear the bomb suit when the shit that’s in the car will kill anything within a couple hundred meters?

This film is by the writer of “In The Valley of Elah” which I actually wrote an 8 page paper on.  So, the whole time I was thinking, “What would be the thesis for this film?  What does this say about the Iraq War?  How does this influence, change, and/or expand Iraq War Cinema?”

I believe Mark Boal, the writer, further comments on this new breed of PTSD that’s curdling up from the Iraq War, and how the ingredients and the signs of it are already in the soldiers in Iraq.  This is mostly reflected in Eldridge’s character because he often seems disenchanted and assuming that he’ll die.  However, the other characters in the unit break down at multiple points to show their vulnerability and unstable mind.  Sanborn seems the most clear-headed, but there’s still something off.

Kathryn Bigelow does a phenomenal job shooting this film as the director, and she supplants hidden cues in her filming such as only having static shots when James is back home or shooting above (in this picture) to demean, but it eventually empowers.

Without getting too scholastic, this film is entertaining, engrossing, and well worth your money and time.  Plus, it raises important philosophical and moral issues.  With each new war comes brand new problems.

Oh yeah, Ralph Fiennes also makes a cameo.

45StarRatingscopy.jpg picture by PseudoPsychic


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