Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Good Year

I have to put a plug in for this movie. It came out about a year and a half ago and everyone said it was terrible...and to be honest, it looked like the kind of thing that I just wouldn't enjoy. Sappy, slow-moving, bits of romance, no giant robots fighting each other, no space aliens, no complicated conspiracies....I wrote it off. Well, I was wrong...and so were a bunch of critics. I got the chance to watch this a few days ago and was blown away. Is it my favorite movie of all time? No, but it's a really, really good movie that I never would have given a chance had there been ANYTHING else on tv.

I won't spoil it, but the basic plot is that the main character (Russell Crowe) is an investment banker in London who just inherited a vineyard in France from his recently deceased uncle. An uncle that he used to be close to but hasn't spoken to in years. From there, the movie examines what is most relationships? freedom? wine? a pretty girl? I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it. I took a look over at and it appears to have been universally panned by who knows? Maybe I'm way off base here, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend you check it out as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Last night, I watched this movie:

Yes, I had seen it before, but I had wanted to give it another look. Man, this movie ticks me right off. Okay, I'll buy Tom Hanks surviving the fiery plane crash, I'll buy him washing up on an island with everything he needs to survive, and I'll even buy that random loot washes up on shore periodically over his years of isolation. However, I just can't get past what his no-good fiance (played by Helen Hunt) does to the man. He's out there. Stranded. The only thing keeping him going is a picture of the love of his life in a in and day out he endures, strives to survive so he can see her again. Against all odds, he manages to drift in to a shipping lane and VOILA! rescue awaits only 4 short years after his ordeal began!
Will things be different? Sure! His family probably held a funeral for him, his social security has probably been closed down, he might not even have to pay taxes again because the man thinks he's dead! All his friends and loved ones will most undoubtably be so excited to see him that they'll sprain something...but oh no. The one person who he wants to see more than anyone, the one person that kept him going, doesn't even have the common courtesty to show up at his "Welcome Back!" party and instead sends a proxy. A proxy who just happens to be her homewrecking husband who took Tom's abscence as an excuse to move in on his lady. Not only that, they're married, have a house and ...wait for it...a freaking kid!!! All in four years. Unbelieveable. Did I mention it was only 4 years?
I tried to make up my own backstory as to what happened. I bet that lousy dentist (I think it's mentioned that the guy she married was her dentist) had been trying to work out an angle for years because he lusted after Helen Hunt's character. He probably heard through the grapevine that her fiance had been in a plane crash. Probably talked to some of his buddies about it on the golf course. I imagine it went like this:

Homewrecker: Hey, so remember that lady I was telling you guys about?
Friend: Yeah of course, the patient of yours that you want to slip a little extra gas to?
Homewrecker: No, not that one, the other one...the blonde.
Fiend: Oh yeah, what's up with her? Any news?
Homewrecker: Darndest thing actually, turns out, this jerk fiance of hers actually died in a plane crash! ha!
Friend: Seriously? What a wonka! You couldn't get me on a plane these days!
Homewrecker: I know! Loser, right? So this just happened a couple of weeks ago, how long do you think I need to wait?
Friend: Dude, she's probably waiting for YOU to call her, it's been what? A couple of weeks you said? I bet she's sitting by the phone!
Homewrecker: You're right, I bet she's lonely, I will call her..thanks for the talk Bob.

They didn't address it in the movie, but I bet that's pretty accurate. And after all this, after all the hardships Tom Hanks had to survive with only the memory of his fiance to keep him going, she doesn't even have the common courtesy to leave her husband and newborn child for him when he shows back up from the dead at the end of the movie. Talk about selfish. Oh, by the way, if you haven't seen the movie you probably shouldn't read this post.