N & B's Movie Reviews- 500 Days of Summer, Arsenic and Old Lace, Everything is Illuminated,

by - Sunday, January 23, 2011

Arsenic and Old Lace

I came into this movie with a real bias; my brother Thomas played Mortimer in the Barrow Civic Theater's last production of Arsenic and Old Lace. I was shocked at how hilarious Cary Grant was, but I could never like him better than my brother. On the other hand, the villain was seriously creepy, and the set ups really played well (though the limited set really still seemed like a theater set). Nick thought it was creepy though. I think that our generation is somehow darker/edgier/more open-minded than other generations, but I think it is never that simple. Because sometimes old ladies kill people and stuff them in their basement, and people in the 40's could find that funny. B's- 4.5 N's- 4

500 Days of Summer

This is the kind of movie that you feel so much that you are supposed to like, they use your music and references, are supposed to be people your age, capture some chunk of your generation's hipster spirit, but it somehow comes off as kind of annoying when you see it in action. Like, I want everything in Summer's apartment, yet find her whole schpiel totally intolerable. It's too much of that fantasy or something. On the other hand, the movie itself was a lot of fun, and I don't think the boy has ever been as invested in a chick flick. It played on so many romantic comedy cliches, and came off honest enough to be a deliciously cruel. It's one of those movies where I can take out chunks I love, but not everything seemed to work. B's-4 N's-4

Everything is Illuminated

I loved this book- I agree with a lot of critics that the Jonathon section seems really banal next to the soulful Alex chapters, but I always thought that was part of the point. Like Safran Foer was in on the joke, and playing on the inadequacies of his own pretensions. I always thought part of the point was that we are so busy building our own myths and genealogies that we miss our own stories (this isn't just a warm fuzzy thing, since I feel like the big point of the book is about complicitness, what we let pass by because its just easier too). ANYWAY, I really missed the boring parts in the movie; it made things feel a little too warm fuzzy, and the big revelation at the end breaks the wrong part of your heart. On the other hand, there are a lot of beautiful and inspired choices (I loved that Jonathon is basically an archivist rather than a writer, and there is this constant exchange of goods as symbols). Plus, Eugene Hutz is beautiful. I know he is busy being a gypsy rock star, but I would see any movie he is in. B's score- 4 N's score- 4 (apparently he only has one score tonight)

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