Sunday, June 05, 2005

Movia mania

For the first time in a very long time, I saw a film every day this weekend. It was great.

Friday night I saw Lords of Dogtown which if you've seen the documentary is more of the same. If you haven't seen the documentary, I recommend it as I also recommend this film. The young actors, most are 'unknowns' or 'hardly knowns' are compelling. Catherine Hardwicke is a fine director and Stacey Peralta wrote a servicable if not exactly a gripping script. There's plenty of drama and tension to keep you wondering how it will all end, even if you have seen the doc. It's easy to forget the real history as you watch these boys go from scrapping along Venice Beach to fame on the skateboarding circuit.

Saturday night I took in the first film of the Cinespia season. On Saturday nights during the summer (this summer it is every Saturday) they show films on the side of the mausoleum at the Hollywood Forever cemetary. Before the show started, they informed us that we were surrounded by the remains of 95,000 people (good thing it wasn't a zombie movie on the bill). They showed Twentieth Century which is widely considered to be the birth of the screwball comedy. Starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard the film is quick and smart and still resonant today, 70 years later. Seeing a movie out under the stars surrounded by thousands of other film lovers is a real treat. Pack a picnic dinner, show up early and pay 10 bucks each. It's well worth it.

Today I saw Cinderella Man which I found to be a well done 'feel good' film that makes me want to call my grandparents and apologize to them for having to live through the Great Depression. Russell Crowe is fantastic, there's no two ways about it. I think Akiva Goldsman cranked out some cheesy lines (it was hard to hear Renee Zellweger say 'You're the champion of my heart' without snorting my diet coke all over the seats, but somehow I restrained myself). The boxing scenes are really vibrant and exciting, a credit to Howard for keeping them constantly in motion without using 'shaky cam'. I suppose critics will call it the first 'Oscar contender' of the year, and they are probably right. In any case, it was a good film which I enjoyed.

So, a good weekend, and I got some writing done (I know, can you believe it). I have phone interviews tomorrow. Wish me luck.

No comments: