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Saturday, May 31, 2014

About Time; Emperor; King of Devil’s Island; Romeo & Juliet; and The Vow

About Time   2013   123 minutes   When he’s 21, a young man’s father tells him that the men in their family can travel back in time.  It works but there are limitations, and eventually he figures out that his gift is very limited, even though it has led to the romance of his life--  Rachel McAdams  --  and once enabled him to save his sister from the results of a terrible auto accident.  It may be a bit of fluff, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Emperor   2012   131 minutes   Tommy Lee Jones plays General MacArthur in the first days of the occupation  after WW II.  Matthew Fox plays Brigadier General Feller, whom MacArthur assigned to investigate the Emperor’s role in the war.  Feller’s eventual conclusion was that it was impossible to determine the Emperor’s role in starting the war, but that it was clear that he overruled the military to end it and saved many lives by doing so.  There is also a tragic love story, which is worth the price of admission all by itself.
King of Devil’s Island   2010   116 minutes    The Scandanavians make some very good movies, even when they’re not kicking over hornet nests.  This one is about an inmate uprising early in the 20th C at the Bastoys Boys Home, a reform school on a Norwegian island.  When a new boy arrives, he inspires the inmates to rise up against the daily brutal treatment they experience.  It’s a bit depressing but well worth seeing.
Romeo & Juliet   1995   150 tedious minutes    Nureyev choreographed this production at the Opera Bastille.  I had recently seen a non-ballet version, so I was up on the details of the story.  In the opening minutes Romeo is on stage for a long time, both solo and with other dancers.   He eHelooks ridiculous – this has to be Nureyev’s fault.  The rest of the production isn’t much better.  I hated it, and I love ballet.
The Vow   2012   104 minutes   You don’t learn until the final credits that this unlikely story of lost memory is based on the lives of two real people.  Rachel  McAdams and Channing Tatum meet, fall in love and marry.  She’s a sculptor with an important commission from the city and he runs a recording studio.  All goes well until she goes through the windshield and loses her memory of recent events including her career as an artist and her romance with Tatum.  Her wealthy parents suddenly appear after five years estrangement and insist she come home with them and resume her previous life as a young socialite and law student.  Tatum realizes he must court her all over again.  Eventually he gets her back, even though she never regains her memory of their earlier romance.  This is about as good a romantic movie as we are ever likely to see.

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