Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Illusionist...and other (potentially) interesting movies

Most monday evenings, you can find me at the sneak preview in Leiden. The reason I rarely talk about the movies I've seen there in this blog is because most of them aren't really worthwhile. It doesn't happen very often that you see a movie you actually like, but it's always nice to hang out with friends discussing the weekend and making up stories about the lives of other people in the cinema. After last weeks dreadful movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (I read this on the internet, which sums up the movie best: "When the Dawn of the Dead remake features a better chainsaw kill than your film with the words "chainsaw" and "massacre" in the title you know you've made a stinker") it was definitely time for something more interesting, more entertaining, thought short: something better!

...and for once the cinema's manager Leo Lek (you gotta love his name) did not dissappoint. He played The Illusionist, a romantic drama/mystery with Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti. The story's got a bit of a fairytale kind of feel to it. Though the romantic subplot is a little cheesy at times, it's a good story as a whole. It's the kind of movie that helps you escape the real world for an hour and a half. Now, when I'm watching a movie I'm not really paying attention to the acting. I mean, I notice when the acting sucks and that can be really annoying, but I rarely say that I'm blown away by an actor's performance...until I saw Giamatti's performance in this movie. Already nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Cinderella Man, he really deserves one for this one. The depth he gives his role is a pleasure to watch. For his performance only. you won't regret seeing this movie!

Speaking of movies. I came across two movies that could be really interesting, especially if you're fascinated with American culture, like me.

The first one is Jesus Camp: "directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka), it follows Levi, Rachael, and Tory to Pastor Becky Fischer's "Kids on Fire" summer camp in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, where kids as young as 6 years-old are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in "God's army." The film follows these children at camp as they hone their "prophetic gifts" and are schooled in how to "take back America for Christ." The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future". With a synopsis like that my interest is definitely triggered. Watch the trailer below.

The second one is Fast Food Nation. The book was on my to read list, but I never got to it. Let's see how this one turns out. Again, watch the trailer below.

"When it was published in 2001, Fast Food Nation quickly became a New York T
imes bestseller, with its no-holds-barred, non-fiction exploration of "the dark side of the All-American meal." The big screen version FAST FOOD NATION is a dramatic feature penned by Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser and Oscar nominee Richard Linklater, who also serves as director. Explains Linklater: "The movie is not a documentary, but a character study of the lives behind the facts and figures. I'm more interested in fiction than non-fiction. You get to the point through human storytelling."

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