Thursday, December 08, 2011

Movie Reviews: "The Way" & "The Descendants"

There are days that I actually dread going to the movies because I know that I am going to see a "crap" film and that I will actually try and write a review telling you how bad the film was that I had just watched. Today was a rare day, I did not see 2 good films back to back, I saw 2 great films today that I want to add to my Blu-Ray collection ASAP!

I had heard good things about these 2 films and was surprised that both films had done great business by word-of-mouth. I was able to both of these films in AMC's new Dine-in theater experience.

This film opens up with a man (Tom)trying live his life and he has missed a call from his son. We are then taken to the screen where the father learns that his son has died in France and that he has to go there to retrieve his body. However, in a combination of grief and homage to his son, the father decides to walk the same ancient spiritual trail, "The Walk of St. James", where his son died in order to try and understand his son better.

What we are soon introduced to is the rest of the people that the father meets along the way. He kind of falls in with three other pilgrims in particular. Joost is a large overweight Dutchman from Amsterdam who says he is walking the route to lose weight to get ready for his brother's third wedding and so that his wife will want to have sex with him again. He is a warm, extrovert who is the first to start walking with Tom and is marked by an unfailing kindness to all he meets. Sarah is a Canadian divorcee who has fled an abusive marriage and the resulting loss of a child through abortion, who she stills see and talks to, who says she is walking the pilgrimage to quit smoking. She is the second to join Tom and belittles him as a defense mechanism and calls him "Boomer" due to him being a baby-boomer. "Jack from Ireland" is a travel writer from Ireland who when younger had desires to be the next Yeats or Joyce but grew accustomed to the lucrative field of travel writing. He states that the great writes died broke and he didn't want to do that. He is the last to join the quartet and has been suffering from writer's block.

What I really liked was the path that all 4 of these people take and how they interact with the different people that they met along the way. I kept thinking that, if I was healthy, this would be a great summer trip and one heck of a walk between France and Spain. I was also thinking how many Ex-Pats would love to take this trip.

The story of the Spanish Gypsies and its results was the highlight of this film for me. The film at times pace is very slow but if you can look past that, you are in store to see a great film. I have no idea if this film will ever see the light of day in Korea. If it plays there, it might just be at the small independent cinema's that are in the major Korean cities. This one might have to be a DVD Screener viewing in Korea. Please watch this film when the opportunity presents itself. I am leaving the ending of the film spoiler free because that the way it needs to be for this film.

Please see this film when you get the chance

Grade: A+

The Descendants

Now with George Clooney either I have loved his films (Up in the Air, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ocean 11-13, O Brother, Where Art Thou?)Or I have really hated them (The American, The Ides of March, Letherheads, Michael Clayton, The Good German) I have very rarely had him in the middle. SO going into this film I knew that it had great word-of-mouth and that the film was directed by Alexander Payne. I loved his film "Sideways" and was looking forward to seeing this film.

This film is basically about 2 paths that Matt King (George Clooney)has to take. We are shown that his wife is now in a coma and will not recover and that the machine keeping her alive will be turned off. It is discovered that she had an affair and that Matt knew nothing about it.

The 2nd part of the film is that Matt is the sole trustee of sole trustee of 25,000 acres of untouched land on the island of Kaua'i, passed down from his ancestors. The trust will expire in seven years, and the family has decided to sell the land and Matt has to decide who to sell the land to.

The rest of the story I will leave unspoiled for you.

What I really liked about this film was the way that George kept dealing with these 2 main issues and how it is affecting his 2 daughters in this film. I really believed that this was his family and that he was trying to keep it all together and he really was not sure how to do it. The more I watched the film, the more I believed what I was seeing.

The magic that was in the film "Sideways" was also in this one and when it was over I was really glad that I had watched this film and I understood why George is getting serious Oscar talk for his role in this film.

Grade: A

Now for the AMC dine-in experience. I saw that these 2 films were both shown in this type of theater. I had no idea what to think about it. I had a film worker come to my seat and explain to me how it worked. You could order food, drinks and beer at this screen and all you had to do was push a service button and this person would come and take my order. What I really liked was that the seat was awesome and I felt very comfortable in it and for me and my size to say that, it was something. When you come back to the USA or to a visit, please check out this type and I think that you will enjoy it. I know that some CGV's in Seoul offer a similar experience and the food's menu I know is different.

No comments: