20 February 2007

Movie marathon over (Whew)

Since Friday, I've seen "Last King of Scotland," "Breach," and, last night, "Letters from Iwo Jima." I'm movied out for a bit, but at least I knocked out a few more Oscar hopefuls before Sunday's awards. Quick thoughts on those films:

*"Last King of Scotland": I wrote some about this below. Mostly, I was impressed with how well the film was able to communicate Amin's psychotic rage without showing us much of the slaughter of 300,000 Ugandans. Some might say the movie pulled its punch. I think it was admirably tasteful.

*"Breach": The true story about a junior FBI man taking down a Russian spy (played brilliantly by the ever-creepy Chris Cooper). It's very claustrophobic and desk-centric, so no car chases or explosions. But it's very well done, in the vein of "The Falcon and the Snowman." Interesting footnote: The junior FBI-er is an Auburn grad, in real life.

*"Letters from Iwo Jima": As critics have indicated, this is the better of Clint Eastwood's two Iwo Jima movies. But really the two films had different messages. Where "Flags of Our Fathers" served to show the political motivations behind the battles most iconic image, "Letters" served to show the futility of war. Don't listen to anyone who tells you "Flags" has a clear anti-war agenda. It doesn't. But "Letters" does, and it also speaks to the hubris, belligerence and underestimation that made Japan fall -- and, perhaps, could be the downfall of our own country. Important message.

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