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(#20 of 365) Movie Night
I just realized I did two movie themed pictures in a row. Oh well. It’s late, and I’m tired.
My own road movie #2.
Made it on Explorer: December 5, 2007
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My Own Road Movie
2009 in movies
Maybe there’s a rainstorm to duck. Or maybe there’s a just an empty afternoon to fill. Or a bad day at work and the only cure is two hours in E Street. Whatever the reason, or for no reason at all, I see a lot of movies. Last year, I drew up a list of my top 5 movies; this year, it’s not so straightforward.
This year, it’s all about the moments. The scenes. The fleeting moods that stick after the lights are back up and the popcorn grease has been washed away.
Like the dance scene in "(500) Days of Summer." In a movie packed with beautiful images–and a soundtrack I’m still listening to almost daily–this scene accomplished the impossible: It put Hall and Oates on my top-played songs of the year.
Or the opening credit sequence from "The Watchmen." The movie couldn’t live up to 20 years of hype (didn’t stand a chance, really), but for five minutes there, boy, didn’t we all have our hopes up while Bob Dylan was singing?
Come to think of it, music matters so much with these scenes. "It Might Get Loud," one of the best movies I saw this year, was a masterpiece of music-lover porn, those three men and their beautiful, beautiful guitars.
The relationships matter, too: The pairing in "Paper Heart" was sweetly honest and brutal; Carl Fredricksen and his wife in "Up" brought me to tears.
Sometimes it’s that very last scene that reinforces a great movie, or makes an OK one seem better. "Up In The Air" ended exactly how I wanted it to; "Adam" saved itself when the boy didn’t get the girl.
Sometimes it’s just about casting: Meryl Streep in "Julie and Julia"? Perfect. The surprise cameo by [you know who] in "Zombieland"? YES! And "Adventureland" made me not hate Ryan Reynolds for the first time, like, ever.
Other movies build to a sense of their goodness: "Coraline" made me hopeful for a generation of kids growing up now; "Moon" took what could have been a bad "Outer Limits" episode and made it so much more.
And then there’s the joyride. "Public Enemies" was a mess, but with Johnny Depp walking around as a ’30s gangster, who cares? "Sherlock Holmes" spent more money and time on costumes than plot, but I’m OK with that. "Brothers Bloom" put Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo in matching fedoras and taught Rachel Weitz how to juggle.
The silliest movie can have such beauty. "Night At the Museum" gave us a peek inside the VJ Day in New York, and it brought to life those Degas ballerinas I pass so often at the National Gallery.
And the most serious movie on the most serious subject–"Hurt Locker–can surprise you. Sigh, another war movie? How’s this one different? Turns out, it’s different in the most significant way possible: it tells a story you care about, with people you care about. That’s exactly what i want from two hours in the dark.
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