Monday, April 23, 2012

Movie Review Monday

Big Fish (2003)

I love this movie, and so does my husband! It happened to be on HBO this weekend, so we watched it. This movie has it all. It evokes emotion, it makes you think, and it has a great story line. Visually, it is stunning.

The basic plot of this film is about a son that is coming home to reconcile with his dying father. The father has told the son all about his life through these elaborate stories. At first, as a child, the son believes what his dad tells him, but as he gets older, he decides his dad was lying to him and tries to figure out what he really did as a young man. He desires to get to the "truth" because he thinks it will help him understand his own life and hopefully relate to his father in a different way.

My favorite part of the film is, of course, Ed Bloom's life and trying to figure out the metaphors he puts into his stories. I also really enjoy how even though he exaggerated his stories a little, for the most part, they were true. It gives you a nice outlook on life and how you shouldn't take things so seriously. Look at life through whimsy and imagination, it makes it much more tolerable. It is such a great film.

If you haven't seen it, I recommend watching it. It's a little strange--it was directed by Tim Burton--but I truly enjoy it.

The Rite (2011)

I'm not a big fan of possession movies. They creep me out a bit (especially The Exorcist), but I think the main reason I don't like them is because I don't understand enough about the whole culture of "possession" to get the full impact of the film. I mean, where does the demon go after it's been exorcised? Why do they even feel the need to possess humans in the first place? Aren't we awful enough without help? Wouldn't they be a bit more cautious while possessing someone so they would get caught?

Demons fascinate me. I've written several short stories of what would happen if people had run-ins with the Devil, and originally, my thesis was going to look at demons in culture. My basic knowledge of the creatures is that they are a social construct to keep citizens in line. For example, don't go into the woods because there are demons out there who want to possess your soul. Maybe there are, maybe there aren't, but the real lesson is to not go into the woods because there are things out there that will kill you--predators, wolves and bears and whatnot. But they aren't always as scary as unseen entities.

I'm a huge skeptic. I totally related to the Michael Kovak character in the movie, and I try to place scientific explanations on the occurrence. The film wasn't terrible, a little predictable, but not horrific. It wasn't overly scary, either. Anthony Hopkins looked a little creepy at times, but it didn't freak me out at all. It inspired me to find out more about possessions and exorcisms, so I suppose it did it's job. I've been thinking about the topic long after the movie was over.

To me, the notion of possession seems like the "werewolf" phenomena. It gives people a reason/excuse for acting outside of accepted social norms. But I could be wrong. Perhaps it truly is a plague on humanity. I'm going to find out more about them. I still have several books on my shelf about demons (leftovers from my college days), and I'm sure there are several books about possession. Do any of you have any suggestions of what I should check out?

This will be an ongoing saga. I will keep you informed of my progress. I suppose if you like movies like this, you will enjoy this one. I watched all of it.

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