Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hollywoodland, Water, Fun with Dick & Jane

We saw three movies lately.  One in the theater: Hollywoodland (*** Good).  Two on DVD: Water (**** Very Good) and Fun With Dick And Jane (*** Good).

Hollywoodlandposter_1Hollywoodland was better than a summer movie, but not Oscar material.  Ben Afleck gives a really good performance as George Reeves, the actor who played Superman on TV in the 1950s.  He wanted to be a serious actor and was unhappy with his role as a TV action hero.  (I loved him when I was a kid.)  In 1959 he either shot himself or was murdered.  The official ruling was suicide.  Adrian Brody plays a private eye who tries to find the truth.  Diane Ladd is wonderful as a film maker's wife who supports Reeves and loves him.  Bob Hoskins is, of course, wonderful as the film maker.  With all these good performances, you'd think the movie would have been better.

Waterposter_1Water, a wonderful film, was released in 2005.  It is set in India in the 1930s, when Ghandi was alive.  Hindu women are forced to live the rest of their lives in an ashram when they become widows.  Actually, there are three choices:  They can burn with their husbands, marry the husband's younger brother, or go to an ashram.  Sending them to an ashram is a matter of money - the family no longer has to support them.  This is the story of the women living in such an institution on the banks of the Ganges river.  The youngest and newest resident is a 7 year old child, married young but still a virgin when her husband dies.  The ashram supports itself by having its women beg, and also by pimping one beauty to rich men.  The beauty travels at night across the river to the home of a rich man.  There is a love story/tragedy involving the son of the rich man and the beauty.  The real tragedy is that the practice of hiding women away in ashrams still goes on today.

While I was nursing a pulled muscle on my rib cage, I watched Fun With Dick And Jane, on DVD, originally released in 2005.  It must have been funny to me, because I remember hurting every time I laughed.  Jim Carrey, one of my favorite actors, plays Dick and T�Leoni did a great job as Jane.  It's the story of a couple fallen on hard times because of an enron-like situation.  They take to robbery as a way to support their family.  Finally D & J setup the nasty CEO (Alec Baldwin) in order to set things right.  T�Leoni is just wonderful in this.

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