A Good Yarn

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Drive In!

Last weekend I went to the drive-in movies! I love the drive-in!! It was really fun and I'd definitely like to do it again this summer. We arrived early so as to get a good place and had a picnic dinner. We also had games to play, but Bill and his family went to the same drive-in (it was meant to be!), so I went over and hung out with them for a while before the movie started. This is what we saw:

I enjoyed it. I was very confused at first because they jumped right into the story, and I couldn't remember much from the first film. So, I'd recommend you refresh your recollection of "Curse of the Black Pearl" before seeing this if it's been a while since you've seen it. This is also definitely a middle film - besides jumping into a story without a lot of set up, it also ended with a total set up for the next film. However, I still really enjoyed the main characters again (especially my boyfriend, Johnny Depp). The NYT reviewer called it "an all-star three-way battle of the cheekbones" which is a phrase I loved - really, it is an assembly of such beauty that it makes my head swim. Although I recently saw a picture of Keira Knightly on "Go Fug Yourself" that makes me worry that she'll die of starvation before the third film comes out. I'd say this film is good for those who loved the first one and would plan to see the trilogy. It doesn't stand very well on it's own. It's very long and there are some scary creatures, so I don't think it would be great for small kids, despite the Happy Meal tie-ins.

I also saw a completely different movie last weekend:

This is a great documentary about a high school girls' basketball team. The main characters are the coach, a college tax professor who decides to take on the coaching job and his star-player, an African-American girl, Darnellia Russell, who transfers to this mostly white Seattle school on her mother's direction. The coach is just an absolutely gem. He's got so much energy and cares so much for the girls. Some of the reviews I've read really tell everything about the film, which I'm glad I didn't know before seeing the film, so I'm not going to reveal much of the plot. I'll just say that it was exciting and touching. At the end, I was crying - either tears of happiness or sadness, I won't say which. If you like sports, you'll love this film, but I don't think you have to like sports to enjoy it. If you just are interested in people and a good story, you'll enjoy it too. One of my favorite parts is when the coach is talking about working with teenagers. He says you tell them to do A, B and C and they look you in the eye and nod and say, yes, they'll do A, B and C. Then five seconds later they go to X, Y and Z. Then when you ask them why they did X, Y and Z they look at you wondering why you would ask such a question. From my own work with teenagers, I completely identify with that.

This summer I've also been going to "movie camp" with my nephew. On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings a theater in Eagan is showing a family movie for free every week. This week we saw something I hadn't seen before:

I haven't read the books, either, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I liked it better than I thought I would. I'm not a huge Jim Carrey fan, but he does an awesome job as Count Olaf, one of the children's "uncles", an actor by trade. He gives Count Olaf a great evil self-centeredness and then portrays Uncle Olaf disguised as other people with great abandon. I am always drawn into movies about a brother and sister (for the reasons I gave in my last post), so I enjoyed this story about a brother who reads a lot and his sister who invents things. They are joined by their baby sister who has an incredibly strong bite. I'm not sure how small children would like this film, though. It is indeed a series of unfortunate events, as Count Olaf repeatedly tries to kill the children so as to inherit the large fortune they recently inherited with the death of their parents. The film is very dark and my nephew, who is 10, really liked it, but a younger child may be disturbed.