Saturday, April 3, 2010

The McBone Week In Movies

This is my first attempt at what I hope will be a weekly feature.  We'll see how it goes.

Kind Hearts and Coronets - Possibly the wittiest screenplay ever written, and in my opinion the greatest of the Ealing Studios comedies.  The protagonist, Louis D'Ascoyne Mancini, played with exquisite snobbery by Dennis Price, resolves to murder the eight members of his family who stand between himself and a dukedom.  Hilarity ensues.  Watch with morbid fascination as he systematically targets eight incarnations of Alec Guinness, who single handedly portrays the D'Ascoyne family. Also noteworthy is Price's love interest, played by the irresistable Joan Greenwood, whose seductive voice can turn the word "no" into an eight syllable melody.  Official McBone Rating: 5.0 McBones

Clash of the Titans (2010) - One of my favorite childhood films was the 1980 version of Clash, so naturally, I was anticipating (and cringing at) this remake.  No, it does not measure up.  Luckily, it is just awesome enough that I was not disappointed.  After all, how can you mess up a battle with giant scorpions?  Sam Worthington as Perseus plays a sort of standard-issue hero.  Where the movie comes into its own is in his relationship with his lifelong guide and burgeoning romantic interest, Io (which also happens to be one of the coolest moons in our galaxy).  Io is played with radiant grace by Gemma Arterson, who is seriously, but seriously beautiful.  Also excellent is Pete Posthelwaite as Perseus' father.  As for The Gods!, it's Liam Neeson and Ralph Feinnes as Zeus and Hades, respectively.  Watch with joy as they ham it up, much like Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith did 30 years ago.  Complaints?  It needs more of the gods and goddesses, which was a strength of the original.  3.0 McBones (No, I am not ashamed of this rating).  Do not see this movie in fake 3D!

Brokeback Mountain.  I love this movie.  Always have, and because gay marriage is a core issue for McBone, BBM really hits home.  I wish there were more movies about people whose stories don't get told because they are marginalized for one reason or another.  Gay men are marginalized for a lot of stupid reasons, and that's what this movie is about: two men in love who are forced to construct fake lives for themselves because society is too blockheaded to accept them.

It was denounced by assholes as homosexual propaganda, but such outcry does make me wonder: would this film lose its resonance if not for the current of homophobia running through our society?  The answer is a thumping NO.  Ang Lee is a great filmmaker, and he made a great movie out of Annie Proulx's great short story (find it! read it!).  If ever I've seen a legitimate love story, this is it.  The acting is uniformly solid, with Heath Ledger securing a place in history for his work as Ennis del Mar.  Highly underrated is Michelle Williams, who is mesmerizing as his discarded wife, Alma.  Sadly, BBM loses half a point for having the absolute worst glued-on sideburns I've ever seen in a movie.  Seriously, watching those sideburns try to stay attached is distracting when the rest of the film that strives with such success to be authentic: 4.5 McBones



batfan9920000 said...

I still don't understand why they let Ang lee direct the hulk movie, that was a mess.

McBone said...

Well hello sir.

I like that Hulk movie. I liked both Hulk movies. Very different takes. If anything, Lee's version suffered from being overly ambitious, but mostly I enjoy it.


Nancy said...

Once again, beautifully said

C.J. said...

LOVE Brokeback Mountain! I didn't mind the sideburns... I minded the very strange love scene. Looked like a rape more than love to me... But still an excellent love story! I agree 100%-- Michelle Williams is excellent in the film! Also appreciated Anne Hathaway's nudity. Yum!

McBone said...

Nancy, THANKS!

Siege, No objection to a nude Anne Hathaway from McBone.


Kid Shay said...

Never would have thought Michelle Williams would be the actor from Dawson's Creek that would be in an Ang Lee movie (or a Dylan biopic).

I'm looking forward to future installments of this feature.