Friday, January 27, 2006

Doing Jay Sherman proud

I watch my fair share of movies. In fact I watch more than my fare share. Which most likely means there is some poor sap out there denied access to his fare share of films. I feel a bit sorry for him, but am not going to stop so he can go see Glory Road. Here are some of the movies I’ve seen lately and why you should or shouldn’t see them.

God’s Army 2: States of Grace
See it.
I was assigned to see this movie. Even worse I was assigned to see it on the apparent whim of my instructor. But see it I did, and I actually liked it quite a bit. Let me first address the prejudices you probably already have against this movie. The only connection it has to the first movie is the mission president and the token black missionary from the first film. I actually didn’t have a significant problem with the first movie. It most certainly isn’t destined to become what of the great works of cinema. But neither is Aliens. But do I like Aliens? I certainly do. God’s Army had a slew of problems, namely being preachy, clich├ęd, and lacking a bit in the acting and directing. But overall I enjoyed it. I don’t think it’s a particularly good missionary tool, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. I felt that Best 2 Years was a better view of actual missionary work, as is this film. Anyway, enough about the movie I’m not even reviewing. This movie really shouldn’t have been marketed as Gods Army 2. It is superior in every way. Still not the year’s best picture, but I’d say a pretty good one. I think it has some pretty valuable views on repentance and the Atonement. Even when I saw what was going to happen ahead of time, I still cared about the characters. I felt the acting was better and the story was tighter. It could’ve been a bit shorter, but I certainly wasn’t bored for any extended periods. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry (if you’re a weaker soul than I) and you’ll think about the movie after leaving the theater. I think that’s reason enough to see the movie.

The Work and the Glory 2
Skip it
Yes, not only 2 mormon movies on my list, but 2 mormon sequels. And I saw them within 24 hours of each other! This bodes poorly for my choice in movies. But in my defense, I was sucked into seeing this one as part of a blind double date. This movie wasn’t horrible. It was in fact worth the dollar that I paid to see it. It probably wasn’t worth the 2 dollars I paid so my date could see it as well. That’s a statement about the movie, not the girl. But I was in no way convinced to see either the prequel, or inevitable sequel to the film. I wasn’t tempted in the least to read the book the movie is based on. I actually liked the Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in this movie. They seemed like real people. Unfortunately many of their followers didn’t. I don’t think a conversation occurred in the movie where they didn’t debate something relating to Mormonism. Don’t they ever have to just do chores, or talk about music or something other than Joseph? Not in this movie.

In Her Shoes
See it if Aliens isn’t on.
Before any rumors are spread concerning my sexuality, this was my airplane movie. It was either watch it or study linguistics. Spice World beats linguistics. But regardless as to why I watched this, it was actually pretty good. I would place it solidly in the Chick Flick category, but not because it was devoid of plot, overly romantic or starring any hunky actors. I just felt it focused more on females and their relationships. But I thought it made a lot of good points about family relations. Both the relation between the two sisters and their estranged father and extrangered grandmother were very interesting. Yes I made up estrangered, so don’t bother me about it. The only actor I was familiar with was Cameron Diaz, who I’m always happy to see, but often not happy to hear. Her role as a ditz didn’t come across as typecasting, mostly because the character was very aware of her lack of mental prowess. Her snobby intellectual sister was good, as were the cast of ancient Floridans (a good portion takes place at a retirement community.) It wasn’t as comedic as something marketed as a drama/comedy should be, but I thought the drama was legitimately good. The film also addresses mental illness to some extent, and I feel they did so well and in a novel manner. Don’t skip this too readily when you see it on Lifetime or O.


Emily said...

If you insist on using the term "chick flick" for movies you think appeal mainly to females, I wish you would make up a catchy title for a male category.

Catherine Elizabeth said...

My dear friend, Rachel Emmers, stars in States of Grace. Let me know if you want an autograph.