Sunday, January 6, 2008

Weekend Movies: Charlie Wilson's War & Juno.

Kelly and I buy a movie pass each year from the great guys who own the Rialto. For $210, the two of us can go to movies at three Raleigh theaters -- the Rialto, the Colony & Mission Valley. The last two have multiple screens.

We use the movie pass as our Friday date night: dinner & a movie. We go to about 50 movies a year, sometimes seeing two or three a weekend to catch up.

I'm not interested in doing movie reviews, but this year I'm going to post what we see, and whether we liked.

First up: Charlie Wilson's War.

We were both impressed with this one. Nice to see character flaws hanging out like fat over a belt. Tom Hanks plays an agreeably sleazy congressman from Texas who likes to drink and hang out in the hot tub with strippers and playmates. Yes, we're talking the good old days in the U.S. Congress. Unlike others who slink around in the dark as they go about their monkey business, the cinematic Charlie Wilson owned his moral failings, and that earns him points on the silver screen as a sympathetic character. The movie centers on Rep. Wilson's funding of a covert war against the Russians in Afghanistan. We didn't expect much from this movie -- perhaps because we had a bad taste in our mouths from Lions for Lambs, which we saw late last year. That thing was such a dog it had fleas. So we were pleasantly surprised with Charlie Wilson's War. The movie closes with a quote from Charlie who says the secret war went well but that "we fucked up the endgame."

Saturday, we saw Juno.

Also highly recommended. We both liked. A quirky movie with some of the sharpest dialog I've heard in a while, and lots of laughs. The script was incredibly gentle with the main character's predicament. Wouldn't it be nice if all families dealt so capably with crisis? Lars and the Real Girl required a similar suspension of familial disbelief. My favorite line (and I'm paraphrasing) from Juno went something like: "You want someone who loves you so much he thinks sunshine comes out of your asshole."

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