I find it extremely irritating when I go see a comedy only to find out that every single one of the funny parts was in the preview. I know that the advertisers are trying to get people in the door, but I feel so gypped when I spend my money for no extra funny. So if you're looking for cute parts, Hitch will do just fine, but if you want funny, the preview will suffice. As for the rest of the film, well, it doesn't break any new ground, but it's entertaining enough. I found myself wishing for a slightly different climax, but all the same it was a decent example of a romantic comedy with, perhaps, slightly more guy appeal. (Slightly.)
Viewed: 2/11/2005 | Released: 2/10/2005 | Score: C
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
By Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez is one of the most amazing prose writers ever, though, having won the Nobel Prize he hardly needs me to say so. 100 Years of Solitude became one of my all-time favorite books as soon as I read it. This book is a much smaller, simpler story, but every bit as rich in language and color. In terms of plot, surprisingly little happens--though in so few pages there isn't room for much--but it's not really that kind of story. Rather, it's an examination of the culture of a small town in Colombia, and in that way it works very well. García Márquez paints such a clear picture of the town that by the end of the book we feel almost as though we lived there ourselves.
Started: 2/15/2005 | Finished: 2/28/2005
By Jeffrey Eugenides
It seems like there has been a lot of popular interest in the Greek-American experience in the wake of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It's an interesting phenomenon. Whether that has anything to do with the popularity and high acclaim won by Middlesex I couldn't say. I can say that I enjoyed it, though. The first word that comes to mind when I try to think of how to describe Middlesex is "epic." It's not a bad choice, really, as the book is spans three generations of the Stephanides family. The fact that the narrator and main character is named for the Greek muse of epic poetry is also a nice touch. On the one hand the book is an explanation of the family history that produced Calliope Stephanides. Beneath that, though it's also a look at the history of America as experienced by an immigrant family. The scope of the story could have been pretty overwhelming, but the narration provides a sense of intimacy that manages to hold it together. On the other hand, that very closeness also creates a curious sense of distance from the other characters. My one complaint is that I wish the author would have chosen a tense and stuck with it; the constant switching from present tense to past and back again was very jarring.
Started: 1/11/2005 | Finished: 2/8/2005
Million Dollar Baby
It's now been almost two weeks since I actually saw this film. I've been pretty busy lately, sure, but really I just didn't feel like reviewing it. Many of you may have already formed your own opinions about it; it's been out for a while, and even if you haven't seen it, all of the controversy might have left an impression. For my own part, I'm ambivalent. On the one hand, from a technical standpoint, it's a brilliant film. The acting, directing, and score were all very well done, nearly perfect. (All three of the stars I gave it are solely on the merit of these technical points.) But on the other hand, the actual story is so tragic that it's over the top. And now that I've had several important plot holes pointed out to me, the writing seems even clumsier. I don't feel the same outrage that many people do, but I am still bothered by how the film ends. I don't know if I'll ever completely make up my mind. So, to end with a corny one-liner, I guess you could say that Million Dollar Baby was a split decision.
Viewed: 1/29/2005 | Released: 12/14/2004 | Score: B