In the last month, Judee and I have seen four movies:
1. In the Valley of Elah-- Tommy Lee Jones is the father of
a soldier back from Iraq who appears to have been killed
mysteriously. Jones, a small-town law officer, spends the movie figuring out what happened to his son. A father's desire to uncover his son's death keeps Jones walking through a puzzling scenario. A gift the son had sent his Dad from Iraq plays a large role in making a statement about the state of our nation.
2. Michael Clayton --George Clooney is a corporate "fix it" man who takes care of problems that beset large corporations.
3. Gone Baby Gone-- Morgan Freeman, Casey Affleck, Ann Ryan. A baby is kidnapped and the story revolves around efforts to recover her.
4. Rendition --Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Alan Arkin, Meryl Streep. An international traveler from Chicago, suspected of being a terrorist, is taken into custody and sent to a secret location to be tortured.
****Best of the Lot: ****
Rendition **** Excellent story, good screenplay, good acting, suspense, good subplots, well cast. Meryl Streep always stands out.
Gyllenhaal was very good. Allen Arkin convinced me he was a US Senator. This movie held my attention from beginning to end. A whole new understanding of "the United States does not use terror to gain intelligence" emerges. The 'host country" for interro-gations is not identified for security reasons.
Valley of Elah ***.5 --I admit I really enjoy Tommy Lee Jones (native of San Antonio, I might add). This movie is a good murder mystery, and a commentary along the way on the Iraqi war. The ending really grabbed me.
Gone Baby--** Ben Affleck has some things to learn yet as a director. His brother Casey A did a good job. I may have slept through part of this one.
Michael Clayton-- I saw this movie only two weeks ago, yet I cannot remember anything significant about it. Thus, my impression is not too high; however, after hearing from some friends who rate this show high, and watching several trailers, I must admit I was asleep, or some worse neurological event took place. I am sure that if I had plugged into the story (featuring the behavior of a manic-dperessive) I would have been intrigued. I have decided not to rate this movie at all. It seems I must be careful not to go to the movies during naptime.
Hope A'Waiting: Two movies coming in November that look interesting:
Lions for Lambs--A Robert Redford movie which focuses on the
Iraqi war. Tom Cruise is a senator who appears to be pro-war; Redford is a college professor; and Meryl Streep is a writer.
No Country for Old Men--A Tommy Lee Jones movie (need I say more?). Set in modern day West Texas. Don't know much more except Jones is a lawman.