Cast AwayJenn 1/2/01
Just got back from seeing Cast Away with Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt. Good writing, amazing visuals, unbelievable sound quality. Steve and I were both impressed that they chose not to inundate the viewer with soundtrack music, thereby giving the viewer a creepy sense of the silence that goes along with being marooned on a desert island. Tom Hanks' acting was superb - this is not an actor who rests on his laurels. Not overly crazy about Helen Hunt, but her role was minimal. We didn't even realize she was in it until we were well into the film. Be warned, though - it was a real downer; I mean major depressing. I can't really fault the script writers for this; no doubt they took the plot in the direction they did to keep things realistic. Still, I wouldn't have objected to a little fantasy! Steve's into all that survival stuff, and he says the film was pretty accurate.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonTim 1/9/01
A fantastic martial-arts film starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh, who play a pair of warriors (and frustrated, never-consumated lovers) trying to rescue a gifted young girl (Zhang Ziyi) from the influence of an evil teacher. The film is subtitled, but is so well written that you soon forget that you are reading. The fight scenes are beautifully choreographed, and the scenery is marvelous. I recommend this one unreservedly.
Finding ForresterTim 1/9/01
I liked this one - the perennial story about a gifted young man taken under the wing of the wise old master, with consequent growth for both of them. This one is set in the Bronx; Rob Brown plays Jamal Wallace, a young black man of extraordinary talents and potential, with Sean Connery as a reclusive writer who wrote one brilliant novel, then disappeared from the literary scene. This was also the best acting I've seen from F. Murray Abraham since Amadeus, though he isn't given much film footage. The film had a couple of faults: it was a little self-conciously profound, and perhaps a little timid on the issue of Wallace's alienation from his friends.
Essentially, the film centers on the imprisoned Marquis de Sade at Charenton asylum, and the ultimately destructive effect he has on the vulnerable, well-meaning people who come in contact with him (the rotten ones do quite well, by and large). Geoffrey Rush is much more convincing in this regard than Anthony Hopkins was in Silence of the Lambs - and since I found Hopkins' performance quite convincing, that should give you an idea of Rush's intensity. What's that phrase you like to use, sis? "Not exactly the feel-good movie of the year", isn't it? That applies in spades with this film. It was very well written and acted but, on the whole, I probably wouldn't have minded giving it a miss.