DVD reviews

I saw two movies on DVD over the weekend. The links lead to movie reviews by Roger Ebert so if the movie interests you and you want to see an expert review, just give it a click.

The first movie was The Forgotten, starring Julianne Moore and Dominic West with strong assists from Anthony Edwards and Gary Sinise. I liked this movie quite a bit but it's very odd. I don't agree with Ebert's review at all and think he missed the point--but even with my interpretation there are problems with the ending of the movie. Still, the premise is very interesting--a woman remembers her son, who she believes to have died in a plane crash, but nobody else is aware he ever existed--and the middle sequences of the movie are riveting. There was one point where the subsonics they used had me jumping out of my chair in near panic. Funny now--and sounds quite silly but it was a very effective moment in the film.

Moore is totally believable in her character and reminded me of Nicole Kidman in how well she conveyed her emotions and thinking. The actors that supported her performance were also quite good. The first 2/3rds of the movie are quite good and cause me to recommend the movie. There is the caveat of a weak ending though.

If there's any interest, I'll post my interpretation of the movie in the comments section but I can't put it here since it'd be a huge spoiler.

The second movie was Wicker Park which starred Josh Hartnett and had equal time given to 3 co-stars: Diane Kruger the love interest; Rose Byrne the agent provacateur; and Matthew Lillard the best friend.

I liked the beginning of this movie then started to think it lost its way around the middle. I was quite wrong. This film is so expertly crafted it reminds me of Lone Star, one of my favorite movies. I will warn you though--if you have trouble following films that shift viewpoint and temporal setting frequently then this movie won't be your thing. Part of the film happens 2 years ago, and part in the "now" and a little --but a critical little-- refers to events just before 2 years ago and all of this is shown almost randomly in the film. Or so it seems.

Actually, once you understand what's going on it's apparent that this film is sequenced absolutely perfectly. Once of the best films of this sort I've seen. It just blew me away--and once again Ebert didn't understand some critical parts--but at least he liked this film.

Wicker Park is about a romance that almost went awry. Like Ebert says, timing and miscommunication were rampant and one very unlikely coincidence--but if you follow the movie to the end and don't get confused by the temporal jumps you'll see that most of what seems random and silly was nothing of the sort. It's just told in a very nonlinear way. I really, really liked this movie.

The actor in the film that I thought was a stand out was Rose Byrne. She really works here and her role is quite pivotal--and as the movie develops, particularly in the last 20 minutes--you'll really see her get the movie to work on an emotional basis. To me the weakest thing--and I admit it's an emotional reaction, not an intellectual one--is casting Kruger as the love interest. She's just too bland and boring. Another issue is that Hartnett's character comes off as being borderline stalker at times but I think that's intentional, albeit a little creepy. Great flick.

UPDATE: in the comments, Tammy disagrees and wrote that she didn't like either movie. Be warned, my opinion isn't unanimous. :-(


Michelle said…
I don't think i'll be running out to see Wicker Park anytime soon. The Forgotten sounds pretty cool though :o)
utenzi said…
That's a shame, Michelle, 'cause Wicker Park is REALLY good. I do admit it's not for everyone though. Both movies are a little odd--and Wicker Park is intentionally made to be hard to follow.
Thanks for the heads up about these films..I haven't seen either of them, and I am someone that doesn't like to read reviews or even know anything about a film before I see it...But, having said that...I will the second one on my Netflix list...I think the first one has been on the Movie Channel's I get so I'm sure it will show up again...

btw: I have put up 100 things about me in honor of my 100th post. If you get a chance, drop by!
And 2nd btw: I still thaink that cat in your header is adorable!
Michelle said…
Dave, i don't like movies that keep shifting the temporal setting, it drives me crazy. I guess the main reason is because i like to watch movies to relax and enjoy not having to think and concentrate for 2 hours! I'm sure you of all people can understand that :o)
Tammy said…
Wow. I really didn't like either of those movies lol. I thought The Forgotten was far too unbelievable and Wicker Park.. was kind of boring too me!

I don't care what those review losers think. They hate just about every movie!
No_Newz said…
I'm not a big movie watcher myself, but I'll take your word for it in the event I actually watch something soon. :)
Lois Lane

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