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Last month, as some of you know, my husband Paul dragged me to THE ILLUSIONIST. I didn’t want to see Edward Norton – yes he can act but I usually don’t like his taste in roles. Plus, I don’t like magician acts. I also don’t like anything that’s specifically labeled “heartwarming.” (turns out, it's not, fyi)

Well, if you read my review, I had to eat lotza crow, because THE ILLUSIONIST instantly became my favorite movie of the year, and Edward Norton gets my vote for Best Actor.

So this weekend, Paul dragged me to THE DEPARTED. I don’t like violent movies. I don’t like gangster movies except THE GODFATHER I and II. I don’t usually enjoy Jack Nicholson, and I have love/hate relationships with Leonardo di Caprio, Mark Wahlberg, andMatt Damon. So this looked like a real loser to me.

I was wrong. Again. Sheesh!

I was mesmerized by the performances and the dialogue. Add to that a darned good plot and it’s simply great. Leo, Mark and Matt were fantastic (um, is Matt just a little too good at playing a possible sociopath?) – and Jack nailed his role but good.

If you’re really squeamish, maybe you shouldn’t go. But the important thing about the violence in THE DEPARTED is that you get fair warning before most of it. In other words, I covered my eyes a lot and successfully avoided 90% of the gore. Mostly it was lots of different characters getting shot in their respective heads or chests at close range, so you can just look away. There was a severed hand in a ziploc bag that was disgusting, and one person who had an injured limb had it re-injured by someone pounding on it – that was actually the only scene that really bothered me. But there wasn’t too much of that.

So I loved it. It also had Alec Baldwin and he was wonderful. I’ve been watching him in 30 Rock, but it was good seeing him in this – he’s always good, always underrated. He needs to be showcased with great writing, and this movie did that.

Vera Farmiga played the only major female role. She was quite good, bringin a combo of strength and vulnerability that was truly special.

That’s my report. I recommend it if you can handle the blood, or if you’ve got quick reflexes and can cover up as quickly as I can.


p.s. Best Actor? I'm still voting for Edward Norton, but Mark Wahlberg gives him a run for his money in THE DEPARTED.

And if you're wondering whether I'm going to let Paul pick all the movies from now on? Not bloody likely. I think it's just a fluke. My choice right now is to see STRANGER THAN FICTION the instant it's out. Wish me luck, because if it's a bomb, my rep will really start to fade.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
You know I love you right....like biggest fan borders on could be stalker if I didn't have other things to do....right?

Well that said I have to disagree with you...Alec Baldwin isn't good in all things he has signed up for...obviously you haven't seen him in The Cat in the Hat...cause if you had.....ewwwww

Just thought I would throw that in. I haven't seen either of the two movies in your reviews on the account that if it isn't a children's movie I probably won't see it for awhile. But I really want to see these two. Thanks for the good reviews!
Nov. 2nd, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
the cat in the hat
I never saw the cat in the hat
why did I never see it? you ask
I never saw it 'cause I knew
I'd go ewwwww
Just like you

Hmmm... I guess I can't rhyme like the good doctor. But thanks for the warning, Charity, because there are certain guys who work for me, and you're right -- that just might make me cross Alec off my list.

You'd love, love, love THE ILLUSIONIST. I'm totally 100% sure.

I don't fully vouch for THE DEPARTED though. Depends on your reflexes.

Thanks for visiting!

Nov. 2nd, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
Re: the cat in the hat
I like scary movies, and laughed during House of Wax when Paris Hilton got hers...but admittedly gore sometimes gets me. Not often but sometimes. If there is a good story along with the gore then I will like it.

I really thought The Cat in the Hat would be good. I LOVED The Grinch, and we were so very disappointed. We won't let our kids watch it because of all the bad stuff in it.

Nov. 2nd, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
Re: the cat in the hat
From the previews, THE CAT didn't look too good. But I'm sorry to hear it's actually something that kids can't watch because of content, not just quality. What a shame when those books are so wonderful.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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