Ken's mom and stepdad are coming over for burgers tomorrow, so today Ken worked on the yard, and I worked on the house. It wasn't too bad, just some general tidying, plus vacuuming. Okay, it's been way too long since I vacuumed (not my favorite chore), I’ll admit it, but it felt good to make it look nice for company!
I have a couple of movie reviews for you today. When the summer rerun season hits, it's our chance to catch up on the movies we've accumulated. We've been very happy about recent movie choices, and have really enjoyed them! I mentioned "Night at the Museum," which we watched the other night. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise, not as silly as we thought it might be.
Thursday night we watched "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which starred and was written by Jason Segel, the tall guy (Marshall) from "How I Met Your Mother." We were expecting a very light comedy, essentially "fluff," and again, were pleasantly surprised. It was definitely a romantic comedy, but there was a bit of a darker edge that we weren't expecting. It's definitely not for the easily offended, with plenty of sexual situations, including full frontal male nudity. I remember seeing Jason Segel on a talk show when this movie came out, and he talked about some of his family members seeing him in all his glory. I can't even imagine! I remember thinking what a goofy and funny guy he was on that talk show, and after seeing this movie, I have an even greater appreciation for him. The guy has a natural talent for comedy, but he also has a sort of vulnerable, every-guy side that is very appealing.
Segel plays a guy whose actress girlfriend dumps him for a British rock singer (brilliantly played by Russell Brand), then takes off for Hawaii to try to get away from the situation and his deep depression. Unfortunately, his ex and her new boyfriend are at the same resort, which results in some highly uncomfortable (and sometimes hilarious) situations. Segel's misery is almost palpable, because we've all been there. He meets a very pretty girl who works at the resort, and she slowly brings him out of his cocoon of self-imposed misery. The British rock singer boyfriend turns out to be kind of cool in a rakish way, and Segel's character encounters many others on his vacation who help him slowly but surely forget Sarah Marshall...including Sarah Marshall herself. One of my favorite parts of the movie was the musical version of "Dracula." With puppets. What's really astonishing is that Segel has actually been writing such a musical, and incorporated it into this movie. How gratifying that must have been for him!
End of Spoilers
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was a lot of fun, and I think Jason Segel has a solid movie career ahead of him. The guy has lots of talent, and is very likable, in a Tom Hanks sort of way.
Hey, it's intermission time!
Welcome back! Last night, we watched "3:10 to Yuma," a remake of a 1957 western starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. (We have the original, too, but haven't watched it yet.) This movie got quite a bit of buzz when it came out a while back, and it's warranted. We both love westerns, and this one takes its place among the excellent modern interpretations of the western, whether a remake or an original. In this version, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale star.
Evans (Bale) is a rancher and Civil War veteran who is down on his luck--and pressured by the guy who owns his land to get out and get gone, because it's more lucrative for the owner to have the new railroad come through that particular parcel of land. Evans falls into a situation in which he can earn $200 from the Pinkerton agency to transport the captured outlaw Ben Wade to the train station for a ride to the prison in Yuma. The usual morality play ensues, in which we wonder if Wade is 100% bad, or if he has managed to retain some sort of conscience. We're drawn back and forth between the two, as he kills one of the guys guarding him...but helps Evans get away from the Apaches, as well as a posse who wants to capture him (Wade). The two eventually form an uneasy alliance and a grudging respect for each other, culminating in Wade avenging Evans' death at the hand of a member of his own gang.
End of Spoilers
I love all kinds of good westerns, but I find that the modern take on them has an element of ambivalence that I just love. I think that all westerns have that bad guy with a heart of gold character, but more recent movies muddy the waters even further. Old westerns, from the 30's and 40's, were more black and white (and I'm not talking about the color of the film); subsequent movies understood that there was always more than meets the eye, and infinite shades of gray. Modern westerns take that a step further, and show us heroes and anti-heroes who are truly conflicted, who have been forced into the life they lead. Of course, there are always the truly bad guys who choose that life, like Johnny Ringo, or the gang member in "3:10 to Yuma."
I'm not a huge fan of Russell Crowe, but I thought he was fantastic in this movie. I am a fan of Christian Bale (Has anyone seen "American Psycho'? Oh my goodness.), and he is great as the Civil War hero (kind of).
We enjoyed both movies, and recommend them highly! I'm hoping that our good movie streak continues tonight, but we haven't chosen yet. I'll keep you posted.