Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Movie Reviews: Sideways, Spanglish, Eternal Sunshine

Sideways: Probably overrated. While I love dialog movies, I also value originality and I thought that this movie lacked that. The best way I can describe it is as a darker, mid-thirties version of Swingers (one of my all-time favs. The movie is about two men who go to the SoCal wine country for a week before one of their weddings. There is some cool imagery between wine and a persons personality, but a lot of the wine references were lost on me (I'm a beer guy!). This is definitely not a date movie, with two brief sex scenes and a scene with a fully nude man running down the street (yes, they show EVERTHING). It is nominated for some Golden Globes, but I wasn't overly impressed.

Spanglish: This movie exceded my expectations and I had high expectations going in. The characters are very rich. From the lovable, mildly overweight little girl (I only comment on her weight, because it plays a role in the movie) to the alcoholic grandmother all the characters are deep and wonderfully presented. Adam Sandler does a great job playing a very successful chef and father in a disfunctional family. It is very different from any other role that I've seen him in (I never saw Punch Drunk Love) and he does a great job. Tea Leoni is also wonderful and the hyperactive mother. Her transformation in the movie as a wonderfully inviting and friendly wife to a controlling and disturbing woman is wonderfully done. Newcomer Paz Vega does a fantastic job as the Mexican Housekeeper of Sandler and Leoni's family. She is radiant and commanding as a somewhat tentative, but eventually firey and strong mother. The interactions between the family members are memorable. It isn't nominated for any Golden Globes, but I think it is more deserving than Sideways.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: This is my favorite of all three, which is saying a lot, because of how much I loved Spanglish. It gets the nod because it is so unbelievably creative and bizarre! It is about a company that erases the memories of people from their minds. It follows Jim Carrey as he finds out that Kate Winslett has erased him from her mind, so he procedes to do likewise, but during the middle of the procedure he decides he doesn't want to erase her. The majority of the film is inside of his mind (very Charlie Kaufman, the director). Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett do brilliant jobs and both are nominated for Golden Globes (as is the film). It is creatively filmed and is very bizarre! Although I figured it out early (as I often do in weird movies-I think my mind is jacked up) it keeps you guessing the entire time. It is out on video so you can rent it now. The other two movies are only in the theatres.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the reviews and I hope this helps you figure out what to see next.

1 comment:

Scott Williams said...

The thing I liked most about Eternal Sunshine was that the director was able to restrain Jim Carrey and let him act without getting too melodramatic or goofy. In this movie he is being serious, but you don't get the feeling he's screaming "Pleeeeease nominate me for an oscar!" like The Majestic.

I also didn't even recognize Kate Winslet til I looked up the cast. (that is a good thing) Probably because she actually kept her close on(!) the whole time.