Movie roundup

Been a long time since I actually blogged the movies I’ve seen. Here goes.

  1. Off the Map. Good, evocative, low-key, and smart. Directed by Campbell Scott, who I only knew of as an actor (but one who takes smart roles). Joan Allen is excellent, and seems to improve with time.
  2. Sin City. Wow. Visually, this is one of the most arresting movies I’ve seen in a long time. The stories are, well, pretty much standard pulp-fiction, although kind of interesting in that the good guys aren’t really all that good; the bad guys are inventively despicable, though. The babes are hawt. The violence is really, surprisingly, intense and remorseless. I learned after seeing the movie that, like Sky Captain, the whole movie was shot in front of greenscreens and the backgrounds were all CG–I had guessed there was a lot of CG, but I didn’t realize it was total. I’d say Rodriguez did a better job with it here. Like Sky Captain, the visuals are stylized, but this kind of stylization seems to work better. And the technology has probably improved. I also learned that Rodriguez was fanatically faithful to Miller’s layouts from the comic book in his scene composition.
  3. The Interpreter. A formula Hollywood suspense movie with pretty good execution. Problems: It peaks too early. It tries to lard too many red-herrings and distracting personal stories. (I mean, really, did they need to make it so Sean Penn’s character had just lost the wife from whom he had been sort-of separated but on the verge of a reconciliation? He plays tortured personalities naturally, you don’t need to pile it on.) But, speaking as a translator, I can say that they accurately portrayed the members of my sister profession as a bunch of attractive stateless vagabonds with shady pasts in guerilla organizations.
  4. Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room. Didn’t tell us a whole lot that we didn’t already know, and was forced by time constraints to omit some interesting aspects of the company’s shady dealings. It did give us more insight into the personalities at the top. Felt a little disorganized, but still absorbing.