Another week, another set of movies to watch. I think you’re getting the idea by now. Once again Friday night was filled with socialising, but we managed to squeeze some movies in this weekend anyway. I can tell it’s going to end up that we have the viewings spread out throughout the week rather than keeping them just for the weekend. At the moment we’re too lazy to watch anything during the week, but maybe once we get to a theme where we want to watch all five films we’ll have to spread them out. Don’t want to get film fatigue.
Anyway. This week was “Movies Based on True Stories (that aren’t really true)”. This theme was interesting in that Marc Fennell didn’t make the obvious choices of Blair Witch Project or those other films that are obvious but slipping my mind at this moment in time. He made some interesting decisions for this week.
We started off with Fargo. Down-and-out Jerry Lundergaard (William H Macy) hires two guys to kidnap his wife so he can trick his father-in-law out of some money for some reason. Pregnant Police Officer Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) gets involved when things start going wrong and the stupid kidnappers start shooting people and things escalate and more people get shot.
Neither of us had seen it before and had been meaning to, so it was pretty much a given that we would when we saw that it was one of the suggestions. It was definitely entertaining, I will give it that. Ben and I have been talking like Marge Gunderson ever since we watched it, and will probably buy a copy of it or at least watch it again. That being said, there were multiple times that I just turned to Ben and asked “what the hell is going on?” and the end I was so confused about what I had just watched. It wasn’t that the plot was hard to follow, it was more the tone of it? It’s hard to explain. It wasn’t until he reminded me that the Coen Brothers did Old Country For No Men that I realised that this is their thing. Both of those movies really threw me and made me feel like I was missing some vital bit of information that would magically make it all make sense. I liked the movie, sure, but I don’t understand why people fall over themselves to praise the Coen Brothers. Maybe the part of my brain that is supposed to appreciate them is the same part of my brain that is supposed to be able to solve physics games; It seems that everyone else can understand them so easily and I am left feeling frustrated and left out. Maybe if I watch it again I will understand it better. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand it at all. Either way I had a vague feeling of disappointment when the credits started rolling. I really wanted this movie to live up to the hype, and while it was pretty good, it wasn’t what I was expecting so I felt a little let down.
The next movie was Good Morning Vietnam. We had both seen this one before, but figured a familiar movie would be a better way to finish movie night than another one we (or just I) hadn’t seen before. Robin Williams is Adrian Cronauer, hilarious radio DJ in the Air Force brought to Vietnam to make the soldiers’ lives better through his radio show. Or something like that. He befriends some Vietnamese local, gets a crush on a girl, gets caught in the atrocities of war.
I had seen this movie because my Dad liked that one scene where they play What a Wonderful World over things being blown up and people dying, so he made me watch it. All I could remember was that Robin Williams was in it and that scene. Even now all I can really remember of it is Robin Williams playing himself as if he was in the Vietnam War. I like to think that the film’s message was supposed to be more “The Vietnam War was a terrible thing, war is bad” than “Lookit Robin Williams, isn’t he wacky?”, but the latter is what kinda came across more. It doesn’t help that in all the movies I have seen of his he seems to play the same kind of wacky character who does funny voices (that are all the same across the various films) rather than the character he is supposed to be playing. He seemed to overpower anyone else in the story and every time there was a scene where he was on the radio it was really over the top and too much for me to process that it was just annoying noise. The story overall was moving and all that jazz, but could he just tone it down a bit please?
We realised when watching the credits that it was filmed entirely in Thailand and one of the main actors was Thai, not Vietnamese. So I guess that means a heap of extras were probably Thai also, but it makes me feel uncomfortable in a “well they all look the same so people won’t notice” way. Which is fair enough, I didn’t notice the difference, but I still feel like I was inadvertently racist.
On Sunday I figured I would watch one more film, and went with A Beautiful Mind, where Russell Crowe is a genius mathematician who is employed by the government to help with the Cold War but goes crazy.
This movie was so boring that I couldn’t finish it. I tried, really I did, but after an hour of watching and still not caring about any of the characters I figured enough was enough. Also Ben told me it doesn’t get any better, which was why I struggled through an hour in the first place. The story was bring, the characters were boring, the music was boring, even the action sequences bored me. The only thing of note was how terrible Russell Crowe’s accent was. Even the trailer was bland and saccharine and terrible. I’m glad we didn’t start the weekend with this one.