Saturday, 20 June 2009

Up [* * * * *] and Wonder Woman [* * * *]

I'm trying real hard not to write about movies I didn't much like. I saw some good old ones like 'Sound of Music' and 'My Fair Lady' just to get some idea of how good it could get (both of them were the most-watched films of all time).

I've seen a great deal in the last few weeks, but nothing I felt excited about until now. Suddenly I've seen 3 good movies that I must comment on so that others will see them too: The Reader, Up and perhaps Wonderwoman.

Up [* * * * *]

Here's an old balloonman who's lived a safe and comfortable life with a woman he met in his cheddis. They were both children who wanted to save up for a future of exploring south america, but never got past their daily expenses to make it.

He suddenly finds that the urban jungle has grown around his house and they want to get him out - to an old age home. He has no choice but to give in or see if he can fulfill a promise he made to his Ellie to go to Paradise Falls.

So the day they come to cart him off, he fills his chimney with balloons and sets off. On the way he finds a boy scout, a dog and a bird who become friends.

He's transformed from an old man into an adventurer, one who CAN, and does, survive great obstacles for his loved ones. Such an inspiration - the tenacity of the old and the young! It could bring together both with a new respect - a real 'family' movie.

Russian btw. Maybe that's why I liked the story.

Wonder Woman 2009 [* * * *]

This was a wonderful story - told with very american off-handedness, unfortunately, but still the basic story remains interesting.

Wonder Woman is an Amazon, and the story is about how the Amazons vanquished the gods and Ares, the god of war, and kept him prisoner until he used deceit to get out.

Wonderwoman is sent to bring him back. She falls in love with a fighter pilot and that's how she stays in the world to fight evil and bring peace.

Now, maybe it's an inspiration to single women to see the story of the women warriors who live separate, to keep from creating children in 'unholy union' with men. Wonderwoman was created from sand and lightning.

Still, eventually the story is co-opted like the mother religions where taken over by patriarchy reducing the powerful goddesses of 15000 to 'consorts' with minor roles. Wonder woman too eventually falls in love with that puny human male and has to pretend to be weaker than her man in her earthly guise/hidden identity. phooey. But the rest is good.:)

The Reader [* * * * * *]

This is a story about a young boy who falls in love with an older woman (oh yeah!:) and how his life is never the same again. Gosh anything I say about it will be a spoiler - it's such a wonderful movie that it deserves the Oscar it got for best picture.

Kate Winslet is an older woman in prewar germany. She helps a young guy in a matter-of-decency way when he's coming down with scarlet fever. He goes back looking for her when he recovers and is fascinated by her. She has sex with him for his reading skills. It's a lovely romance which really draws you in - a different kind, one that's tender and temperamental with a lot of role-reversal.

One day she walks out on him, when she's given a promotion. The next he sees her is at a Nuremberg trial for being an SS security guard at Auchwitz. It's a nailbiting trial - her honesty vs. the system and history. A very real dilemma that the germans probably went through individually - the guilt, shame and horror of being on the wrong side.

She's sentenced to a life in prison and he tries to go on with his life, failing miserably. Years later, locked in his shell, he begins to reach out to her by reading stories into tapes and sending them to her in prison.

I think I laughed, cried, was shocked, guilty, fascinated and transfixed by their hot, real romance. It's a must-see!