Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day (what movies did you watch)

Everyone has seen the list of the best holiday movies and there is always a wise-ass that reminds people that "Die Hard" was based around the holiday season. Nothing beats "A Christmas Story" in my book...and a close second is the "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" from 1964 where we learn that a woman's place is in the kitchen.

So what did I watch this year? Well it wasn't a holiday movie for me, but I watched "The Girl Who Played with Fire", which is the 2nd part of a trilogy. This one picks up about a year after the end of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Lisbeth Salander returns to Sweden. She calls on her court-appointed guardian to remind him, in her own way, of his promise to submit satisfactory reports on her behavior. Mikael Blomkvist continues as an editor of Millenium magazine and they are onto a major story about prostitution and trafficking in women from Eastern Europe. When the investigative journalist working on that story is killed, the police announce that Lisbeth is their prime suspect. Lisbeth and Mikael work independently trying to find who is behind the murders. They not only learn the identity of the culprits but also some of Lisbeth's family secrets.

This one didn't get the best reviews from the critics, but I thought it was every bit as good. The ending delivered just the way that I wanted it to. I haven't read these books, but I understand they are a good read. I am enjoying the movies, but you cannot watch "Fire" without first watching "Dragon Tattoo". Without the character development from the first movie you wouldn't understand the dymanic between Lisbeth and Blomkvist. I very much look forward to the conclusion in "Hornet's Nest" and hope that the American version in 2011 doesn't ruin a good story.

I give this movie 4 Quacks.


but, my movie watching wasn't done for the day as I followed that up with "Whip It", because it was on HBO and I didn't have anything better to do. The movie tries to follow up on the cuteness of Ellen Paige, but doesn't quite deliver for me. Do roller derbies like this really exist? If so, this movie doesn't exactly sell me on buying a ticket. It is your stereotypical young woman coming to maturity story. She has a crappy life at home, finds a loser boyfriend, weird friends, blah blah blah. This was Drew Barrymore's debut as a director, but that isn't exactly an excuse for being such a boring movie.

I would be generous if I gave this one 3 Quacks... next please...


So sure why not, one more movie before the NFL game of the night finally starts. This time I went a little deeper into the movie bag and pulled out "A Prophet", which is the story of an Arab that goes to a French prison. I do not know a lot about the French prison system (or the American one for what it's worth), but I found it interesting that a convict can have a day of leave. Also, the amount of electronics that were allowed into the prison surprised me. And finally the ability to get a prostitute to come to the prison was impressive. Maybe the prisons in France are worth checking out.

The movie addresses much heavier issues regarding religion/race. I found the movie hard to follow at times, and that wasn't because of the subtitles. I have seen several foreign movies and this might be the first one where the soundtrack was American. The movie has some very intense moments and for that the movie succeeds. It also ends with Christmas, so in a way you could say it is a holiday movie (but not really). The work by the director is amazing in how the story unfolds. The movie was nominated last year for best foreign film, but didn't win. i haven't seen the winning film yet, but I will and I hope that it measures up. I will get that one on netflix soon, so check back later.

In the end, "A Prophet" is a quality movie that is worth checking out and receives 4 Quacks.

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