Posts Tagged ‘62nd Street’

A Serious Man

March 10, 2010

In honor of the Oscars, I’m posting a couple of movie reviews from 2009.
This one is from Tuesday, October 13, 2009:

After my adventure with “Surrogates”, I decided to make it a double feature by getting another (I’m entitled to two) free ticket to “A Serious Man”. The one really nice thing about this theater is they seem to have multiple showings of the same film in a short period of time. This time the usher was more helpful, specifying the 2nd underground floor and theater 2. I found the theater quickly and took my seat.
(One poorly designed feature(?) of this Cinema is that they alternate floors. One floor will have a restroom, the next concessions. So if you are seeing a double feature and need to use the facilities between showings, make sure you stop on a floor with a restroom.)
For some reason we had very loud people at the showing. I counted at least 5 cell phone rings and 3 assorted other cell phone sounds. All the people in the back right side decided to open up what sounded like large potato chip bags at the same moment. The guy in front of me expressed his displeasure with their noises by saying “Really?” and “Really?” again. Fortunately, the whole back right side decided to leave before the film ended. Unfortunately, they did so one by one… and seemingly by holding the door open for each other.

On to the film. “A Serious Man” is very Jewish and very strange. Some would say that is repetitive. Yiddish is used throughout the film, though there are subtitles in the opening scene. I don’t know why they didn’t translate “Dybuk”, but maybe everyone understand that word? Or maybe, there’s no real word that would define it?
This film seems to be exploring the question of why bad things happen… to anyone. When life shits on you, should you take it personally or just get out some wipes? Is hashem sending you messages or do you just have british teeth? Why bother seeing a rabbi when you can just slam your head against a wall? It’s just as satisfying. Are people evil or are they just stuck in ruts?

I would highly recommend this film for anyone who has:
a. stubbed a toe when they didn’t deserve it
b. can handle a non-action film
c. enjoys thinking

I feel like this film was beyond my understanding, but I still enjoyed the journey.
I would give this film an 8 out of 10.

Now, if you see it, please explain it to me. 🙂

Surrogates

March 10, 2010

In honor of the Oscars, I’m posting a couple of movie reviews from 2009.
This one is from Tuesday, October 13, 2009:

I left work exactly on time to catch the 4 train to 59th street. I quickly walked to the Clearview Cinema on 62nd and 1st. It was a new theater for me, so I was pleased by my time (beating Google.com’s directions of 11 minutes) and quickly got my free ticket to see “A Serious Man”.
The usher refused to help me beyond saying 5th floor. Although, he was kind enough to rip my ticket and give me a tiny sliver back so I had no idea which theater to go to. I took the seemingly endless escalators up, up, up. When I got to the fifth floor and found the theater, there was no display indicating which film was showing. There were previews going on, so I took my seat.
I was surprised that I was the third person to arrive in the room and that the previews seemed endless. At 7:40, finally, the feature presentation began. Imagine my surprise when the word “Surrogates” appeared on screen. At first I was confused. “One second, is this another preview?” Then I realized that I am that dumb! I ended up in the wrong hall. “Well, I was planning on seeing Surrogates anyway, may as well enjoy it.” It wouldn’t pay to switch films now, as “A Serious Man” was scheduled to begin 10 minutes before “Surrogates”.

Surrogates is a little of “Minority Report” and “The Matrix”. I went into the film with that knowledge. I liked both of those films, so I expected to enjoy it. “Surrogates” is a good action flick. Because most “people” on screen are not real and are incapable of feeling pain, the directors felt free to fling bodies around with impunity.

The plot itself doesn’t really make sense. Also, once you see the ending you’ll probably wonder, as I did, why it wasn’t done earlier and with much less drama. However, for most viewers, that won’t make a difference, because of all the action.

For what it is, an action flick, I’d give it a 7 of 10. However, as an intellectual film, I’d have to rate below 5.

From Paris With Love

February 18, 2010

There was nothing good playing (that I hadn’t already seen), so I went to see “From Paris With Love” Tuesday night.

This movie is a spy/action movie. The plot is super thin, the action is ridiculous, and the dialog is childish. I kept waiting for the movie to get serious and become a “movie”, but it never did.

Maybe I was just in the mood for mindless action and silly jokes, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Everything was so over the top that I was able to watch it like a cartoon.

Sure, it had a couple of requisite car chases that would have bored me had I not used to opportunity to check my emails and text messages. There is gore, blood, and scores of dead people, but, it’s so cartoon-ish that it nary mattered a whit.

This is a great action/comedy popcorn movie. It’s probably not the best “date” movie. (You’ll understand if you see it. 🙂 )

I give it a 7 out of 10, but, with the warning that this is not an intellectual movie.

Brothers

February 1, 2010
I went to see “Brothers” Tuesday, December 8, 2009.
I went to the theater on 62nd street because they seem to have fewer clients – emptier theaters and fewer sell-outs. When I got there, the line was literally out the door. Fortunately I was able to procure a ticket. Sadly, the theater was packed… filled to capacity. The audience was one of those that to comment about everything that happened. If someone was mildly funny, the audience exploded in laughter. If a character dissed another, the audience ejaculated “Damn” and “Ohh!”. During one particularly climactic moment, I missed 10 seconds of dialogue due to audience participation. (One member in the audience felt the need to explain the irony of one situation to the audience. Fortunately the almost entire audience shushed her, and she shut up.)

Brothers is about two brothers. One, Sam, is “perfect”, a patriot, cool as ice, happily married with two daughters (sequel “Sisters”?) and about to be re-deployed to Afghanistan. The other brother, Tommy, is a just released from prison criminal, guilty of a violent crime against a women, bad tempered, reckless, irresponsible and a “quitter”.
When Sam dies overseas, Tommy seems to grow up and in his attempt to comfort Sam’s “widow”, they start to fall for each. However, Sam didn’t really die. When he gets back home and realizes there are sparks flying between his spouse and his brother, things get very awkward.

The film explores the horrors of war, the fragility of relationships and the lack of support for soldiers that are stateside after being deployed in the theater of war.

I thought the film was interesting and thought-provoking. The emotions expressed in the film seemed real and I could relate to the characters.

Brothers has an R rating and really shouldn’t be viewed by children. I would generally recommend it to adults. There is very little action or gore in this film, though there are a few intense moments.

I give this film a 7 out of 10, but my experience loses one due to the audience.