Thursday, June 28, 2007

DVD: Flags of Our fathers

I was really disappointed in Clint Eastwood's movie "Flags of Our Fathers." I think I was more disappointed because of all the hype when the movie came out, but I didn't see much here.

I was familiar with the story of the restaging of the planting of the flag on Iwo Jima. I was familiar with Ira Hays thanks to the Johnny Cash song. Frankly, when I got don watching the moving, I found myself asking myself, "so what?" I didn't feel like any of the characters were developed well enough to interest me.

The most interesting thing was the need to sell ward bonds to pay for the ongoing World War II effort. This was particularly poignant given the recent funding struggles of the war in Iraq. Apparently FDR and Truman (both Democrats) weren't as comfortable with deficit spending as the current Republican regime.

I enjoyed Adam Beach as Ira Hays who seems to be the current choice to play young Native American men. I liked him in the Tony Hillerman shows on PBS where he played Jim Chee. I also liked him in "Windtalkers" where he appeared with Nicholas Cage. I was surprised to see that he has appeared in about fifty movies and televisions shows. Anyway, he did a good job as Ira Hays.

Overall I don't rate the movie as being particularly good. It certainly wasn't worth all the hype. Maybe a C+ or 79%.

"Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one." -Baltasar Gracian

Pop some popcorn and let's watch a double feature.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

DVD: The Tiger and the Snow

What a charming movie that takes the happy viewer down the garden path to delight! It is in many ways the perfect romantic movie. Directed, written, and starred in by Robert Benigni, the movie tells of the love of Attilio de Giovanni (Benigni) for Vittoria, played by Nicoletta Braschi. Braschi, real-life spouse of Benigni who also produced the film, certainly has the beauty and chard that would cause a man to make a jackass of himself. I would volunteer for the opportunity.

The plot centers around Italian poet Attilio to gain the attention of the woman he loves. Benigni does his useful commanding job playing a man who is devoted to a cause, in this case the lovely Vittoria. When Vittoria is severely injured in Iraq, Attilio does what any rational man would do to rescue the woman he loves: he lies.

I won't go ant further out of fear of spoiling the movie, but ending is delightful and delighted me. The movie is a real romance unsullied by gratuitous sex or nudity.

Oddly enough, I've seen some reviews complaining if the lack of factual accuracy in the movie. What nonsense. Such complaints signal a reviewer without spirit and romance. To insist on factual accuracy is similar to insisting that Velveeta is a fine cheese. I give it an A or 94%.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
What is essential is invisible to the eye." -- Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Pop some popcorn and let's watch a double feature.