Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Feature Presentation--Movies and March Madness

Terribly Happy

Weird Danish film about a police officer Robert Hansen, who is exiled to a remote town due to an incident in the big city. This plot thread is slowly unveiled as he interacts with a town in which everyone knows everyone’s business. Recently divorced, he falls for Ingerlise who is married to the town bully. Jørgen. Tension ensues and creates a critical mass that sets up the climax and denouement. Be prepared for a slow but interesting pace and good performances all around

Worth seeing.

The Town

When I saw the preview for this film months ago, I was interested in seeing it. Heard several decent reviews from friends who had seen it in the theater, so when it came up at the library, I made sure to create some space to see it right away.

Laying my cards on the table, I’m not a big Ben Affleck guy. Liked him in Good Will Hunting, he was ok in Chasing Amy, fantastic in Mallrats. I tend to stay away from movies involving him, but this movie had Jon Hamm (big fan of his in Mad Men and 30 Rock) and Jeremy Renner (really enjoyed his performance in Hurt Locker), so I figured if nothing else, they would cancel him out. I was surprised by his performance. Brooding but not overly so, clearly caught in two minds about his future, so it gave his character a nice dynamic tension, which he did well with. The ending was clear, and you were given two choices, would he get away or get caught. I’ll try to avoid the spoiler for those who haven’t seen it.

I felt at times, I was watching Heat, but The Town never quite hit the those heights for me, plus no Ashley Judd. I thought Heat had more intensity, more edge, with The Town having more of a slow burn.

My initial comments sparked these comments on twitter from @UFStretfordEnd:

I actually found Heat's intensity more contrived. Yeah, I knew where The Town was going, but I was happy to come along.

I thought it (The Town) was better. I really enjoyed it. Heat was buried under the weight of its own importance.

Had never really considered the last one. Interesting point but for me Heat will always win out.

Not bad after a long day of work.

NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness)

I won’t bore you with my history with college basketball, but will just that if someone who knew me in high school or college heard that I didn’t watch a single minute until the end of day 3 (Saturday), they would have been shocked. Shocked.

I didn’t do a break so I really don’t have a rooting interest. I carved out some time for Michigan v Duke because 1) a friend was watching it; 2) it hearkened back to the Fab Five of my youth; 3) I could watch soccer on my computer (see my last Old Football Buffet post). Duke survived after a stirring rally from the Wolverines. The following Sunday afternoon I watched Kentucky v North Carolina. Two of college basketball’s most storied programs played a great game with UK’s three point shooting giving them the edge and sending the Wildcats to the Final Four for the first time since 1998.

This weekend we are planning a little shindig to watch the Final Four (preceded by the Milan Derby). The brackets are set up so that a traditional power (UConn or UK) will face a Cinderella (Butler or VCU) in the final. Who knows if I will stay up for the final, but Saturday should be fun.

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