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4 out of 5

In Bruges

200px-In_bruges_post Last week I watched In Bruges (2008,R).  From Wikipedia:

Two hitmen hide out in the Belgian city of Bruges, and amidst the city's storybook background they come to terms with issues of guilt, morality, and redemption.

I spent a few days in Belgium a couple years back (Antwerp, Ghent, and Brussels), so the city was very familiar.  I enjoyed the film.

I give it 4 out of 5.

Taking Chance

chance The other night we finished watching Taking Chance (2009).  From Wikipedia:

Taking Chance is a 2009 historical drama based upon the experiences of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl (Kevin Bacon) escorting the body of a Marine, PFC Chance Phelps (posthumously promoted to LCpl), back to his hometown from the Iraq War.

I liked it.  It has a very deliberate pace, which is appropriate.  There aren't any Chance flashbacks.  At first I thought that was kind of unusual, but then I decided it was unusual in a good way.  All of the ritual involved in bringing a soldier's body home was interesting too...something I'd never seen before.

I give it 4 out of 5.

Right America: Feeling Wronged

506x316_rightamerica03 At the end of February I watched Alexandra Pelosi's Right America: Feeling Wronged.

On the day Barack Obama was elected the 44th President, more than 58 million voters cast their ballots for John McCain. In the months leading up to this historic election, filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi (HBO's Emmy®-winning "Journeys with George") took a road trip to meet some of the conservative Americans who waited in line for hours to support the GOP ticket, and saw their hopes and dreams evaporate in the wake of that Democratic victory. These voters share their feelings about the changing America in which they live.

I enjoy her films, and like the others I've seen this one was definitely interesting.  I give it 4 out of 5.

Gran Torino

200px-Gran_Torino_poster Back at the end of February Lisa and I went to see Gran Torino (2008,R) (ScreenIt! Review).  From Screen It!:

Although he initially has nothing but racial disdain toward them, a gruff Korean War veteran ends up protecting and befriending the Hmong family next door from a gang that wants to recruit their teenage boy into their fold.

I thought it was very good.  Dark, of course, but good.  It felt a little strange as the whole theater laughed at Walt's racist banter.  It's also one where you are left sitting there at the end, not ready to leave.

I give it 4 out of 5.



Tonight we watched Fireproof (2008,PG) (ScreenIt! Review).  From ScreenIt!:

A firefighter begins an experimental, 40-day program to try to save his marriage.

Last weekend small groups at our church started the associated 6-week study.  We missed the screening of the film because we were in D.C., so we caught up tonight.

Let me first say that Christian multimedia has come a long way.  That doesn't mean this was a masterpiece, but it was decent.  It reminded me more of a TV movie than one for the theaters, but that's OK.  I thought it was strongest in it's dead-pan, humorous bits.  Caleb's dad's description of God's holiness was somehow particularly effective too.  With divorce as prevalent as it is, this is obviously a worthwhile subject.  We thought it was a little funny that the task of salvaging the marriage appeared to be entirely on Caleb's shoulders.  I also thought it was a bit strange that Caleb seemed to have so many positive influences while Catherine apparently had none (until the white-haired lady got all up in her business).  The black female characters were a bit too one dimensional ("Uh huhhhh! Oh no he dit-unt!"), but at least Caleb's pal at work, Michael, was strong.

I give it 4 out of 5 for effort.


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