This Summer's Movies

This summer brought some fascinating movies, above and beyond the usual round of holiday blockbusters. I’d pick out three:

  • WALL-E - the first half-hour: Pixar’s computer graphics and imagination achieve new levels of detail and creativity. After the first half-hour - so much, so boring.
  • The Dark Knight - an attempt to tap everything from Greek tragedy to Bush’s geo-politics that for me ultimately failed, but very interesting nonetheless (and not just for Ledger’s performance). Mis-certificated in the UK, but that’s another story.
  • Mamma Mia! - thought I’d hate it, you could fill a page with its flaws, but Meryl Streep is wonderful, and every time I’ve seen it (yes, I have seen it more than once :blush: ) I’ve come out of the cinema feeling very happy.

Anyone have other recommendations? Condemnations?

Not strictly summer, and definitely not a blockbuster, but IN BRUGES was one of the best films I’d seen in years.

I just saw In Bruges last week. A friend of mine let me borrow it, thinking I would enjoy it.
And enjoy it I did. A fantastic movie.

I must say, what strikes me most about the movie though was the location.

Absolutely beautiful.

I have seen only two films this summer – The Dark Knight (if we hadn’t known it was Heath Ledger, we would never have guessed) and Mamma Mia (great fun, once you get past all that awful shrieking at the start).

However, my teenage children have been to quite a few more. Under duress from a friend, with howls of protest, they were dragged along to Kung Fu Panda, and were surprised to find they really enjoyed it. Despite their recommendation, I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to try it! :slight_smile:

Watched the remake of Bambi last week. A load of existentialist twaddle, with a dearth of gratuitous S&V. Burdened with a sense of disillusionment for days afterwards. :confused:

Mama Mia – I won’t be seeing the movie, I saw the stage show here in Oz, only days before the invasion of Afghanistan. My daughter and I had been to a demonstration, mainly of Afghanis on the steps of Parliament in Melbourne – Afghanis who had no love for the Taliban and even less for Al Qaeda, but who were fearful, and rightly, of what would happen to civilians, their friends and families, when the attack occurred.

We were still hearing horrendous stories from our family in Timor-Leste at the time following it being freed from Indonesia, and my wife was working there with the UN, so daughter and self went to share their ambivalent feelings.

We left them feeling about as sad as you can be. Up the road was the Princess Theatre and Mama Mia. On the impulse of the moment, we walked in, got the last two tickets in the house, and got lifted back into the world outside the horror in Afghanistan and the horror that was about to be unleashed on it. And the horror of the stories we had heard and were still hearing from Timor-Leste.

By the end of it, we were up in the aisles with everyone else dancing and singing (in so far as some of us, viz me, can sing at all) – belting out the title song for all we were worth with tears running down our faces.

We love our Abba here in Oz (back in the day, Australia was Abba’s biggest market per capita, I believe, there are still two or perhaps more full time Abba tribute groups here), but after an experience like that, the movie would be like an empty shell. I would go and see the live show again, though.

Meryl Streep – phooey!

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

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:laughing: :laughing: Nearly a coffee-in-keyboard disaster there…

Wont do any harm! It just washes the fag ash down into the bowels of the key board. If you drill a couple of 6mm holes in the bottom, it drains out. Youve got to keep the keyboard on a tray, obviously. But!! about once a week empty it into your compost bin, and youll have lovely nutrient rich compost :wink:
Take care

ps As for my disillusionment? Well, I m over that now. You cant live in the past...can y?


Youre not [i]lusting[/i] after Meryl are y? [size=50](Y` dirty old ram!!)[/size]

Hey! Less of the “old”! :wink: I lost my heart to her in Silkwood, and have never claimed it back. :cry:


Ah we`re in the same queue then! Wots your ticket No? Mine is 1,000,008 :frowning:

I used to go to the movies at least twice a week, when I was young. Now I go to the movies a couple times a year, due to the lack of essai theatres in my area (meaning with this the totality of Center-East Italy).

This year I’ve only seen three Italian movies - the first good Italian movies since years. Among them, “Gomorra” ( by Matteo Garrone was my preferred one, for how well it translates the novel it is based on, and for how cleverly it describes the modern tragedy of the country I live in. I also found it very interesting on a technical point of view. Well earned Palmares at Cannes.

“Il Divo” ( by Paolo Sorrentino is a different kind of movie, but it still investigates on the Italian contemporary tragedy. It is a satire based on the story of the man that marked the short history of our Republic. Shocking and sad for inhabitants of these lands, but probably less interesting out of our boundaries (unless there is a specific interest for Italy, and this movies explains its recent history with great cinematography and acting).

The other movie I saw was before summer, and it was “Tutta la vita davanti” ( di Paolo Virzì. Nice, sweet and bitter tale of young “permatemp” workers, with some TV divas, and a revelation in the young protagonist.

I know I must go and see “Dark Knight” as a duty, but the weather is still so nice that I don’t like the idea of watching at a blockbuster instead of sitting at a restaurant by the sea. Later, when it will start to rain, I’ll go.


When I lived in Burlington (that’s the “big” city here in Vermont), I used to see a movie a week. But now that I live in a rural area and the nearest theatre is 30 minutes drive, I don’t get out much. I have seen The Dark Knight and thought it was pretty good, if rather preposterous… even as a super hero movie it was preposterous. Still, I found Heath Ledger’s performance distrubing, all the more so, of course, because of his death. I have to confess that I also saw the latest (last?) installment of the Indiana Jones epics. Frankly, it was very disappointing. Stunts so outrageous as to make the whole thing feel flimsy. Nevertheless, it was worth viewing just for the pleasure of seeing Harrison Ford put on the old Fedora one last time.

Mostly I get my visual entertainment via Netflix, and I must thank you Brits for all the wonderful BBC dramas. My fiance and I have been feasting on Foyle and Spooks (MI-5 here in the states) and others.

I do have a sleeper DVD rental recommendation, a John Sayles film from late last year called The Honeydripper, about the early days of rock and roll in the deep south of the U.S.