Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Favorite DVD viewings from 2007

If you've ready my profile on the right side of this page then you saw that our family doesn't have a cable TV subscription. Haven't had one in eight years. I don't have any special agenda against television -- it's just not our thing.

We love movies, though, so we have a subscription to Netflix and try to watch several movies per month with their DVD mailing service. I looked through my rentals for 2007 and selected the following as my favorites from the year:

5) Away From Her

What it's about: A retired couple deals with the consequences of the wife's onset of Alzheimer's.

Why I loved it: I felt that the couple was truly in love, although they had some baggage from past mistakes. It reminded me that everything I do today has a ripple effect on my empty nest years with Jamie, and that life's hardest decisions don't ever have easy answers.

4) Reign Over Me

What it's about: A man who lost his wife and daughters in the 9/11 tragedy works through the grief in a very unique way, and an old friend ends up finding himself in the effort to help.

Why I loved it: It got Jamie and I talking about bereavement and the individuality of life's emotions. It reminded me that nobody should be labeled and put in a box for our convenience.

3) Stranger Than Fiction

What it's about: A man discovers that his life is simply the fulfillment of a famous author's book in progress -- as she is writing things, he lives them. Hard to explain. Underneath it all is my favorite love story from 2007.

Why I loved it: It was original in so many ways -- the editing and tone of the film were completely fresh. Every character popped. Will Ferrell was amazing in a role that didn't require goofy outfits and one-liners, and I was rooting for his character all the way through.

2) Good Night, and Good Luck

What it's about: Newsman Edward R. Murrow goes against the herd and his superiors to shine a light on the tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy during a time of national fear.

Why I loved it: The filmmaking was superb and gave me more details about a time I knew little about. The similarities to today are downright terrifying.

1) Born Into Brothels

What it's about: A photographer decides to document the life of kids in Calcutta, India's red light district. She ends up attaching herself to a few of the kids and doing everything in her power to inspire them to a better life. It is a documentary, not fiction.

Why I loved it: It was a stark illustration of the identical human conditon that exists across all cultures, genders and times. These kids just want a chance at a different life, just like anybody would. But they're still just kids, so they can't really see the inevitable life that awaits in the slums, and what it would mean to escape. Photography was a brilliant way to get them outside of themselves and see the world with new eyes.

Honorable Mention

Pan's Labyrinth, Mysterious Skin, Saved!, Lord of War, Thank You for Smoking, Spartan, The Station Agent, Fresh

9 comments:

Don R said...

If you want to sitr up your mind in the area of quantum physics, might I suggest: "What the Bleep, Down the Rabbit Hole" (2006 version). It will turn your physical world upside-down.

~aj~ said...

This is how out of it I am...I've only even heard of two of those movies on your list. However, I can tell you the stories of every Bachelor/Bachelorette season yet. Pathetic, huh. :)

Redlefty said...

Thanks, Don. I read a bit about that one last week. Like the topic but heard it spent a lot of time pimping Ramtha. May try it anyway.

And AJ, I'm out of it on tons of topics. Including TV. You've got enough things going on that I wouldn't call it pathetic if you don't keep up with Hollywood's latest. :)

Roland said...

I'll have to check some of those out.

MamaRose said...

We've seen your 5th one--AND, REALLY LIKED IT, and heard of all but one of the others--will have/need to 'check them out' now--since you liked them.

We watched the movie, 'BREACH', which is based on a TRUE STORY about one of our OWN FBI spies who commited TREASON with the Russians & gave them OODLES of our info!!!!!
With Ryan Philippe--REALLY GOOD--your Dad & I BOTH liked it!!!!!!!
SAD that it happened, though!!!!!!

And, we watched 'Little Children' the other night & would DEFINITELY NOT 'recommend' it to ANYONE--very weird & one too many plot stories!!
We thought. It 'got' 3 stars, too.

Everyone has different 'tastes' in movies & favorite TV shows, but I like hearing what others, esp. in our family, are watching & LIKED!!
THANKS!!!!!!!!! LOVE YA'LL!!!!!!
Mom

James W said...

AJ I am right there with you. I only knew two of them as well. If we had an American Idol quiz I could do pretty good. :)

Hal Johnson said...

One of the court reporters Rhonda often runs into loaned her a copy of "What the Bleep Do We Know?" It was while my son's godfather was visiting, and one night, after Dylan had gone to sleep, Rhonda asked if we'd watch it with her. She looked at we two dudes and dished out a stern set of conditions: "No laughing, and no smart-ass remarks." I tried, I really did. I made it about three minutes into the thing before I started snickering. Claus immediately burst out guffawing, which got me laughing my butt off. Rhonda called us several names, then took "What the Bleep" out and stuck in a disk of "Six Feet Under."

Hey, I'm actually really interested in "What the Bleep." I'm just afraid I'm gonna have to watch it alone. Interpersonal dynamics, y'know. Or as Rhonda said, "I should have known better than to try to watch this with two guys who act like hyperactive ten year-olds in church."

I feel so bad. Really. (It's hard to type with your fingers crossed.)

Don R said...

Hal- Was this the 2006 version? There was an earlier version that wasn't as complete. Discounting the Ramtha channeling interviews ( I have no idea what's going on there), I found it to be completely fascinating and believable. I would recommend books by Lynne McTaggart, and Gregg Braden for further info on the common man's quantum physics.

Hal Johnson said...

Don, I believe the version we were watching came out in '04.