Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Films That are Worth a Second Look – Part II

“The Matrix Revolutions” (2003) – I could get grief for adding this to my list of films to revisit. I balked a long time with this film. I didn’t want to see it – “The Matrix Reloaded” (Matrix II) left a nasty aftertaste in my mouth to the point that I didn’t care what happened in part III. Sure, “The Matrix” (part I) was awesome – wonderful to behold but mass rave/dance scenes a non-delivery on forwarding the mythology that the first film set up nixed “Reloaded” for me. Well, I recently saw “Revolutions” and I’d like to apologize to Andy and Larry Wachowski. “Revolutions” was a drastic improvement over part II and most certainly worth a second look. The war against the machines with the battle for the Dock was worth it alone – the rental that is.

“V for Vendetta” (2005) – This is another Wachowski Brothers film and with this one I never balked at seeing it. This is based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel of the same name. Moore is a dark genius whose stories will go down as some of the finest graphic works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has had the unfortunate circumstance of watching his work come to the big screen incorrectly – this has happened repeatedly and with absolutely horrible consequences (wait for cable to see “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Don’t rent it – wait for cable - On second thought, miss it on cable too). It was an abomination of an adaptation of a really great story (do go immediately to Barnes & Noble, Borders or you local comic book shop and pick up a copy of the graphic novel – you won’t be disappointed). Being burned in the past, Moore had his name removed form “V” sighting that the filmmakers were going to be espousing a liberal philosophy when his story focused on personal freedoms. The ironic thing is that this film is pretty close to the spirit of Moore’s vision. “V for Vendetta” works on so many levels. It’ s a wonderfully realized film that will make you contemplate the Gunpowder Treason plot (see EC’s 11/5/06 blog – and the movie).

“Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) – If you haven’t seen this film, please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy as soon as possible. What a great little picture. It deserves any Oscars that come its way. Great cast, great script, great direction – great film. It’s a dysfunctional family road trip. There are no throw away characters here; each is dynamic – each learns something vital along the way and so may we. When their dysfunction becomes function you will cheer. I know I did.

“Finding Neverland” (2004) – What an amazing film – the creative process personified. Johnny Depp is J.M. Barrie the man who wrote “Peter Pan” and the story revolves his muse – the Davies family. Kate Winslet plays the widowed mother of the Davies clan and Freddie Highmore plays one of her children, Peter. Radha Mitchell is Barrie’s wife who does not understand him – his amazement of what could be; the possibility of the unwritten page or the wonders of being swept away by the telling of the tale. Birth is not easy. This is how “Peter Pan” was birthed. If you missed it in the theaters or bypassed it at your local Blockbuster back up a couple of isles and rent it immediately. I promise you will not be disappointed.

“Ed Wood” (1994) – This is a Tim Burton film where Johnny Depp plays the infamous Ed Wood Jr. the man who made the “worst movie ever made”, “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. I love Ed Wood, angora and all. He was a testament to sticking to ones own dreams. In the film the Character, Orson Wells tells Ed Wood during a chance meeting, “Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?” It is advice that Ed takes to heart. He writes, shoots, edits and distributes on the fly finding backers wherever he can and all the while he continues to do what he loves – making movies. He is a loyal man as well. He befriends the tragic Bela Lugosi (played masterfully by Martin Landau) who is now addicted to morphine and at the end of his film career. If you haven’t seen it do so. As the character Criswell says, “Can your heart stand the shocking facts of the true story of Edward D. Wood Jr.?” You should chance it.


Zelda Parker said...

Thanks to the raves by Merci, Pax and yourself I watched Little Miss Sunshine and all I thought was how they put the "fun" in dysfunction! Thanks! Enjoy reading your blog!

Joe Tornatore said...

v for vendetta had great script. din't know you had a blog until yesterday. what is this world coming to. your friend, Joe

Pax Romano said...


Now then, I so agree with your choices, and Ed Wood, as you know, is a film that I base all of my life choices on (though I just can't wear Angora, must be a skin condition).

Little Miss Sunshine, was my fave film of the year.

I was all ready to hate V, becuase I thought, "oh no, another damn comic book movie" ... well I was wrong, the movie blew me away!

Evil Chicken said...

Yeah, I love “V for Vendetta”. I’ve even have a Guy Fawkes mask hanging to my right here in Evil Chicken’s Fortress of Solitude. It’s hanging next to the Enterprise – D cutaway poster.

What can I say; I’m a card-carrying geek.