Monday, February 26, 2007

Moody Movies That Start With 'The' ...

You can order your Netflix queue however you want, but it's really up to the Netflix gods what movies you get when. Last week, "The Illusionist" arrived followed by "The Prestige."

I watched "The Illusionist" first. I totally dig Edward Norton. Whether by choice or by circumstance, he doesn't make enough movies for my taste. And Paul Giamatti should be in more movies, too.

Being a heterosexual female, I don't quite get all the fawning over Jessica Biel. Men drool over her because she's got a hot body, right?, not because she's a great actress? OK, I guess I get that. There are women I find attractive, but she's not one of them. Then again, I wasn't watching the movie to see her.

It's a beautiful film. If I wore a hat, it'd be off to great cinematographers and set designers.

But it doesn't matter how pretty a film is if the story doesn't hold up, and the story of "The Illusionist" holds up well.

Ditto "The Prestige." In fact, I think the story is even better than its eerie cousin. Or maybe I dozed off during a crucial moment, but I found it necesssary to watch the last part of the movie again to figure out the story.

And "The Prestige" boats a bevy of star power: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, everyone's favorite Gollum, Andy Serkis, and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla, to whom, I've mentioned before, I'm related.

The cool thing about the Tesla role in this movie is that his electrical creations aren't fictions for the film. The work he was doing in Colorado Springs is documented, and it was woven into the movie. You gotta love a guy who could create lightning in a lab, bolts up to 135 feet in length, though one wonders how you measure the length of a bolt of lightning. They're not straight lines. Do you measure from Point A to Point B, or do you try to factor in the jagged aspects of the bolts and determine the length as if the bolt was stretched taut? Then again, what's the relevance of the lengths? Or do men just feel the need to measure everything?

I don't know much about electricity, but I'd figure it's not the size of the lightning bolt, it's what you do with it.

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