Sunday, June 25, 2006

DVD roundup

King Kong: I'll admit it, I've never watched the original: all I knew was a big gorilla on the top of the Empire State Building and somehow a blonde chick was involved. But when Peter Jackson of LOTR decided to remake it, I decided to pay attention. Unfortunately I didn't get to watch it on the big screen but yay for Netflix. Anyway, as expected, it was an exceptionally well made film, but somehow I didn't really like it as much as I thought. I guess I'm just not into big animals or something, though King Kong fighting a T-Rex is pretty much one of the coolest things ever. Plus Peter Jackson definitely knows how to do scary. The spiders were positively terrifying and those were by far the scariest natives EVER. It's a fun movie, but it kind of lacked the emotional power of LOTR for me, despite the whole beauty and the best thing.

Junebug: Amy Adams picked up an Oscar nod out of nowhere for this movie so I picked it up. It's a quirky indie movie, which I usually love, and I did like this one, but I have to agree that a disproportionate amount of that like is due entirely to Amy Adams. The movie has a meet-the-parents premise: George is the husband taking his new wife, Madeline, home to meet his family in North Carolina, which includes a sullen brother (played by Ryan Atwood himself, Benjamin McKenzie) Johnny, and his nine-months-pregnant wife, Ashley (Amy Adams). Ashley is almost impossibly sunny and positive and upbeat but it's completely genuine and not fake at all. Her character really carries the movie, but the rest of the cast is competent as well. Embeth Davitz plays Madeline as sophisticated but eager to have George's family like her. Alessandro Nivola plays George as aloof but slightly uncomfortable at being back home. And Ben McKenzie portays Johnny as generally angry and unpleasant but his hints of happiness at work and moments of affection for his wife keep him human. I don't want to give the ending away, but it was really excellent. The only thin that I really didn't like about this movie were the strange silent transitions that were just sequences of still outdoor or indoor scenes. Yeah just a little too much quirk there.

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