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Monday, March 25, 2013

Movie Day!

So after a seemingly endless Palm Sunday morning (that Gospel reading is LONG!), I retired to Shirley and Leroy's for a lovely brunch and what turned out to be a movie marathon. Here are some thoughts on what we saw.

Our first outing was to see Django Unchained. There is no question that Quentin Tarantino is a brilliant film maker, and that in spite of his pandering to gratuitous violence, he has a way of making the splattering of blood and guts all over a set seem rather funny. Sadly, the dear boy just doesn't know when enough is enough.

The first hour was admittedly rather entertaining, leaving us rooting for Django and the good Dr. Schultz as they wiped out one bad guy after another. Django's revenge on the evil overseers at Big Daddy's plantation was worth a good round of "getims" but the minute Leonardo DiCaprio opened his mouth, the whole show turned south. From his entrance on, scenes dragged on for far too long and we felt trapped in a bad dream with a bunch of foul mouthed psychopaths. Lose about forty-five minutes of the words "fuck" and "nigger" and this would have been an effective movie. Instead if left me wanting the damned thing to end so I could go shower off.

We next ventured into the world of the collegiate A cappella phenomenon for what turned out to be a delightful ninety or so minutes in musical geekdom. One might call this charming little movie Glee on Steroids. It tells the story of a male and a female singing group and their struggles to win a national championship while overcoming the typical personal demons of young adulthood. It's all there: fat girl who can wail a tune, geeky boy whose big dream is to be a singing star, and a very attractive boy and girl who eventually get over themselves to realize they belong together.

Spectacular singing arrangements and a careful balance between angst and joy make this a charming Sunday afternoon film.

Well, we were on a roll so we decided to check out Spielberg's acclaimed Lincoln.  It was everything that you would expect from so artful a director and so gifted a cast. Daniel Day Lewis was brilliant in his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, particularly in the way he captured Lincoln's voice, at least what we can conjecture that he would have sounded like. Tommy Lee Jones gives a tour de force performance as Thaddeus Stevens, Joseph Gordon-Levitt should have had a bigger role as the president's eldest son, and Sally Field delivered the same performance she's been delivering since Steel Magnolias. She and Shirley MacLaine should start an academy on how to play oneself in every role you take.

It turned out to be therapeutic to simply not recharge the phone and enjoy seven hours of fantasy land with good friends. I highly recommend it if you have an uncluttered day!

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