Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In the Valley of Elah

Well, let's see, it stars Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones, and it is about a soldier murdered when he comes home from Iraq. So what, exactly, do you think the gist of this one will be? They tried so hard to keep from looking anti-war. After all- the movie credit says the movie is dedicated to "all the children". The soldiers are the people who were once kids now turned into killers by war- they even run over a kid. The kids in Iraq (oh never mind the ones whose parents or grandparents were murdered by Saddam) are victims. Well, crap all, everyone in this movie is a victim. I felt like one because I was watching it- good grief this is a SLOW movie. Oh my, slower than Congress, slower than a turtle scratching it's face, slower than the grocery line on Saturday. I was so BORED in spots. The performances- including a chilling close up of Sarandon's decline (and I mean in real life not the character- showing you what anger does to a person's face)- are just wonderful. But the movie felt like real time. And that is never a good thing. But it is okay - okay enough to see in a theater if you don't get the big drink.

3:10 to Yuma

A good western is hard to come by. They often come across as trite and laden with cliche. The Unforgiven was a great western. This is not great but it is good. It does have some hilarious moments where the gun fight is so unrealistic that you find yourself groaning. I know I could be a better shot than some of those people. But because of the cast-Russell Crowe and Christian Bale being the big guns in this- the western is better than it would have been had they cast Johnny Depp and Leonardo di Caprio. There is a lot of action- almost too much. If this many people got killed in the west, then we'd be sitting in a bar in St Louis rather than living on the west coast. I liked it much more than Alex did.