Several capsule reviews

I’ve been way behind in my reviews (seriously, how have my loyal but few readers gotten by without my recommendations?), so I’m slimming them down (maybe y’all don’t mind that) and stuffing them all into one nifty post.

First off, The Constant Gardener. Brits are upset that it didn’t get (m)any Oscar nods. I’m not upset by that. It’s an interesting/sad film about the corrupt activities of pharmaceutical companies in Africa, but not as amazing as the other nominees. Laura and I loved the love scenes between Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. I thought they were hott because it was one of those heartwarming affairs that begin with the couple arguing over some hot topic, and they wind up screwing because they respect each other so much. Still, the cinematography seemed inconsistent (at times it was trying way too hard to be avant-garde while other times was perfectly normal–it’s like a mix of Soderbergh and Speilberg). I give it a 7 out of 10, mainly because of the awareness it brings.

Secondly, Andrew Bird. I’m in love. His performance was nothing short of amazing. I wanted to cry though because the Fine Line was way too crowded and I couldn’t see a damn thing on the stage unless three tall guys moved their heads to just the right angle. So instead of crying, I left 40 minutes into his set. The man plays violin, guitar, and Glockenspiel, with another dude who’s name I’ve forgotten is on drums. Before each song, Andrew lays down some (usually) violin loops, which are played over him singing and whistling (a most inhuman whistle, in my opinion) and playing guitar or more violin. He occasionally plays his violin as a mandolin. Andrew, if you’re out there–email me. I’ll even drive down to Chy-town for our date.

And finally we have Hustle & Flow. For some reason when I look back on watching this Oscar-nominated (best actor, Terrance Howard) film, I chuckle. It’s just so absurd, yet realistic. This guy and his friends are so naive. Through much of the film, I figured it’d be one of those “look how hip hop gets us outta the ghetto” movies, but it’s more than that. It’s sadder than that. I can’t take it seriously though, it’s so ridiculous. I give it 6 out of 10 stars.

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