I'm a big movie fan, but don't get to the theatre as much as I did during the late 90's. There's a little less free time and I've grown to enjoy lying on the couch and watching my favorite TV shows on DVR. When I do go, then, it's important that I go to a movie that's going to impress me.
I'd waited quite a while for Brad Pitt's "The Tree of Life" to come to Rochester. It looked as if it wasn't going to make it, but a few weeks ago, it did. I happily went to a matinee of it where I sat way up on the top in the back. There were a number of mostly older people down below as the film played. The reviews were phenomenal, but did note that the film didn't have a straight narrative. An ambitious movie, it wasn't quite as good as I was hoping for, not quite as transcendent. Nonetheless, it brought up universal feelings about life, love and the cosmos and for that, I'm glad I saw it.
A week later, I went to another well-reviewed film, Ryan Gosling's "Drive". This movie was all about mood. I was hooked from the beginning as this song played over the opening credits; Gosling was driving late at night through L.A. The movie had something that most blockbusters don't: silences. Someone would say something and instead of the other speaking immediately, they would pause a bit, as if they wanted to absorb what was being said and maybe even enjoy being in that particular moment. There were a few action scenes which seemed more real because of the attachment that one came to feel for the characters. I've heard that many European movies exhibit this type of style and if this is the case, we, in the U.S., are really missing out.
Last weekend, me and Dori headed to the theatre to see the next movie on my list; I went up to the cashier and said, "We wanna catch "Contagion"'. I'd heard this was a good one, but it soared well past my expectations.
If there was just one word I could use to describe it, it would be "riveting". Matt Damon is tremendous as the husband of the first person who contracts the sickness, not to mention the fact that, in the film, he's a Minnesotan. Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and a number of others held my interest throughout and the final scene where the genesis of the outbreak is shown cemented, in my mind, the movie as a masterpiece. I was on a high for the next few hours as we dined at Famous Dave's and then headed home. Going to the movies is my drug of choice; no need to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or write a book about my life.