Quick thoughts about a few things I've seen lately while I wait for the George Foreman to heat up...
Goodbye Solo -- Saw it in the theater last night. Fantastic little film. "Little" not to be condescending, but because it's apt: Filmed in Winston-Salem; stars, for the most part, only two people—neither of which are "stars"; clearly produced on a shoestring; and consists of a tidy story with few moving parts. Thoroughly engrossing, thoughtful and poignant. Terrific performances. I will be the film I will evangelize about the rest of the year. I'm not going to link to the trailer, because you should just see it cold like I did.
[puts burger on...]
Slumdog Millionaire -- Rented it last week with Mrs F. I figured it would be good, but I feared—intensely—that it would not be nearly as good as its hype. That rewarding and hyping the Little Foreign Engine That Could was more about critical charity and Hollywood feeling good about itself than anything else.
It was really excellent. Brilliant screenplay, excellent performances, and absolute confirmation that I never, EVER need to go to India. Had I seen it before the Oscars, I would have been cheerleading it as well. It won all the right awards: Best Picture; Director; Screenplay (adapted); Score; Song; and Cinematography.
Jack Black Trilogy: Be Kind Rewind, Nacho Libre, and Kung-Fu Panda -- I am an unabashed Jack Black fan. I think he's hysterical in comedies and underrated in other films. School of Rock is fantastic, Margot at the Wedding was a good film and Black stole it, Good in King Kong, and he has made otherwise-unbearable stuff like Saving Silverman watchable. Mrs F and I enter any Jack Black vehicle with pretty high expectations...
We watched Kung-Fu Panda with the kids several weeks ago. It was good, and Black was perfect as the voice of the main character, but it didn't rise to the level of a post.
Be Kind Rewind got some pretty good reviews, and while it looked ridiculous, was supposed to be a surprisingly good movie. It wasn't. It sucked. Hard. We were about to give up on it when one of the only two funny moments roped us in—the camouflage scene. Which led us to believe that once they started reenacting movies hilarity would ensue. The "Ghostbusters" scene was hysterical, but it was awful the rest of the way. Not recommended.
We hoped Nacho Libre would redeem Mr Black. Not exactly. It had some VERY funny moments, but you saw most of them if you ever saw the trailer. In conclusion: it was probably inappropriate for the kids, I enjoyed it more than Mrs F, and it left me convinced that Black needs to be more selective with scripts and that Year One probably blows.
[I have to go finish mowing the lawn]