I found a little thing on the American Bar Association’s site called their Top 25 Movies list while I was watching My Cousin Vinny (Number 3). I settled in to watch this movie which is 11th on the list because it stars Harrison Ford and Raul Julia, two actors I admire. Both of them have ben in good movies and bad movies and both are usually the best part of the movies they are in. Ford plays a prosecutor who is the ultimate boy scout who gets tangled up in one big mistake. It was interesting to see Ford in the role of a no-nonsense lawyer when his most famous roles are rogues and rulebreakers. His character, Rozat “Rusty” Sabich, is socially awkward but incredibly intelligent. Raul Julia plays a brilliant and calculating defense attorney with a very dry sense of humor that I loved. Raul Julia’s voice is just fun to listen to no matter what role he is in but here he was cunning and interesting. There were a lot of points where I thought I knew where this movie was going but it created enough reasonable doubt to keep me guessing. In addition, I loved the depiction of the politics that happen after an election that sweeps a lot of things away and cause people to lose their jobs. I definitely recommend this one as there were a lot of fun quirks and surprises.
Now You See Me 2
I really liked the first movie in this franchise. I remember reading a few things online indicating that a lot of people did not enjoy Now You See Me. I can actually imagine why. The first movie was kind of unfocused and involves a lot of flash and misdirection before finally revealing the mystery at the end. Kind of like a magic trick which, not so coincidentally, is the subject matter of both films. There is more of the same in the sequel but the plot itself feels more personal and focused with recurring themes from the first movie along with new folds to the mystery. I have been fascinated with stage magic since I was little and in a lot of ways that fascination has never faded. I am not a fan of Criss Angel or David Blaine but guys like Penn and Teller still rock my world. This movie, like its predecessor, has a lot of fun stage magic but it also has a lot of action sequences combined with magic tricks. The characters use stage magic in heists and in combat and it is awesome. While they do not mention a lot of the old magicians by name (probably for legal reasons) but the respect feels like it is there. Everybody does a great job but special shout outs go to Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Ruffalo and newcomer Lizzy Caplan. I definitely recommend this one too.
Grand Budapest Hotel
I have not seen all of Wes Anderson’s films but I have seen a few now. I really liked Rushmore and The Royal Tannenbaums but they both had a deep air of sadness even at its funniest. Everybody in a Wes Anderson film has a very flat tone even when the world has turned to chaos and no rational person would be calm. Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori have an interesting subtlety and urgency which is hard to describe. This strange rhythm is one of the things that makes this movie so surreal. Another is the strange color palette that the sets and costumes have. Everything clashes but somehow works too in the way that a Picasso or Gaugin painting is somehow still pleasing. The story itself is a lot of to do about a contested will as war ravages the surrounding country but that hardly describes it. It is part mystery, part farce, part romance and so many other little things. It is very artsy and yet it has the high star power of three or four normal-sized films. I recommend watching it as it was a pleasant experience.
Music of the Week:
– This week’s theme is “Twists and Turns”
– I finished Season 7 of The Office and I might be done with it
– I am on Season 6 of Parks and Rec (Kristen Bell!)
– I watched some more Law and Order: SVU
– I am finished watching Season Three of Haven
– I watched more Season 3 of The Following