I made up for a long gap in cinema screenings by seeing three movies last week.
I enjoyed all three films, and for very different reasons.
Until last week I had previously seen Brooklyn’s Finest in the theater. It’s a movie I had high hopes for and was quickly disappointed by the amount of screen time given to Richard Gere and the fact that it’s The Departed set in New York. It’s been done. Move on. Just because everything is being remade doesn’t mean everything needs to be retold.
Death at a Funeral – I have not seen the original English version, but will. That being said, this movie was pretty hilarious. How could it not be? Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Danny Glover, Martin Lawrence. James Marsden was surprisingly slapstickingly great. I think I got used to seeing him shoot lasers out of his eyes. Also, he gets naked. And he’s hot. That is always a plus. It was a nice movie to end a long lazy weekend with, and making death funny is an accomplishment. I will acknowledge my disappointment in it not being as dark as I expected a Neil LaBute death comedy film to be. That man directed The Shape of Things, a movie about a woman who uses a man’s insecurities to complete an art project that illustrates one’s vanity and willingness to physically change for acceptance. He made self-hatred disturbingly funny. Here’s to hoping the English version is dark.
Kick-Ass – Can Nic Cage get himself more awesome roles like this, please?! He reminded me of his ability to create a character on nuanced quirks and vocal delivery. There is something so refreshing and spectacular about kids literally kicking ass and cursing. The fact that one of the most badass of the heroes is a girl, Hit Girl, makes the story even more fun. And all those haters who say its inappropriate, yes Roger Ebert, I am looking at you, can shut their faces. I would have loved this movie as a kid. Sure, I may not have strapped on a wet suit and chased after murderers and thieves, but I would have for sure felt some inspiration. The fact that I know I would have loved it at a younger age, and it resonates with me now on a level of comedic genius and a willingness to honestly look at how kids think, talk, and feel, means something was done right. And anyone who can draw out good performances from kid actors, let’s face it, Hit Girl is young, gets mad points too. Kids can ruin movies…ahem….Phantom Menace…ahem….
No One Knows About Persian Cats – I plan to see this again before it leaves the cinema. It’s a small Iranian movie about an indie band trying to get a gig together before touring Europe. Like most Iranian movies it is a story layered in symbolism, a tactic used by filmmakers to get things by the film board that places restrictions on what is apparently suitable for viewing. As an Iranian, I had the pleasure of catching certain jokes, mannerisms, and symbols lost on other viewers, and I also learned a lot about my identity that I did not know. I was transported to an Iran not dominated by only classical or pop music, but metal, blues, indie, and other genres. It’s a beautifully made film that introduces Iran through music as it never has been.
What’s next? Well, the Tribeca Film Festival is going on, so I plan to catch as much of that as possible. Good thing I just got paid.