Monday, October 27, 2008

a couple of good movies

Rescue Dawn
Yesterday I watched
this film which is set in the Vietnam era. I actually finished watching it the same day I started, something that is quite rare for me these days. I did have to watch it in 3 segments, but I watched all 2 hours of it in the same day. Anyways, Rescue Dawn stars Christian Bale (the latest actor to play Batman), Steve Zahn (he's been in lots of stuff), and Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan, the TV series Lost - he plays Daniel). It chronicles the true life story of a Dieter Dengler, an American pilot in the Vietnam War era. His plane gets shot down over Laos and he is taken captive and then put into a small prison camp with other POWs. Dieter creates a plan to bust them out. Christian Bale (the big star in this film) is a great actor, and I enjoy Davies' quirkiness, but the acting I really appreciated was done by Zahn. He really shows his versatility here. This is a great film especially if you're interested in war stories.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Despite the clunky title, this is an excellent movie. It's a long one (160 minutes), but worth watching. If you like Westerns you'll like this one. The title pretty much explains what the movie is about. In short, it focuses on the James Brothers (Frank and Jesse) and their gang of bandits and leads up to the assassination of Jesse. The storytelling is excellent, character development is well done, the acting is great, and the visuals are really geourgeous. The film is set in the 'Old West' so we get to see lots of mountains, Old West towns, farmsteads, etc. It stars
Brad Pitt, but like Rescue Dawn (above), I was impressed more by the 'lesser star' than by the big star. Casey Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Oceans 11,12, & 13) is one of those actors to keep your eye on. He will be one that keeps getting better and better (unlike his brother Ben).

I also saw
Max Payne starring Mark Wahlberg in the theater. If you're thinking about dropping 9 bucks on this one, hang on to your cash and see it on DVD. I love Mark Wahlberg, but this film seemed a bit flat and the plot a bit thin. Its not bad, but it wasn't fantastic either.

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