I’ve seen quite a few movies the last few days between the Blockbuster movie program and HBO. I thought I should share a few thoughts on them:
Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music documentary by Robert Elfstrom
I love all things Johnny Cash. I’ve read several biographies, including one by Rolling Stone magazine which was an amazing photo journey. This documentary was not an all encompassing birth to death, rags to riches epic. It was filmed by British filmmaker Robert Elfstrom in the late 1960’s as he traveled with Johnny and June. Johnny was so impressed with Elfstrom’s work that he later asked him to produce his film about Jesus Christ, The Gospel Road. This movie is archival footage from live concerts, recording sessions, Johnny’s return visit to his hometown, and rare personal moments and reflections. Fantastic!
Conversations With God with Henry Czerny
I had this movie in my queue but moved it up after my friend commented on it on his blog. I thought the movie provided a very human portrayal of a man who fell upon hard times and into homelessness and struggled to climb his way back out. I did not buy into the spirituality. It seemed to lack substance and drive book sales or something. Overall, I was glad I watched it.
Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas
Ok, how many movies have there been about courageous teachers who transform the lives of inner city kids? I didn’t rent this one, but when I started watching the beginning I had to stay up to watch the whole movie. I’m not a big Antonio Banderas fan, but he did an excellent job of acting in the movie. I guess the whole ballroom dancing thing was a large enough curiosity hook to separate it from the other movies about troubled inner city kids. Definately worth watching!
Proof with Gweneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, & Jake Gyllenhaal
I missed the first few minutes of this one, but it was really good. It’s a little similar to A Beautiful Mind but definately stands apart. Gweneth Paltrow was amazing in this movie. Jake Gyllenhaal was ok. Anthony Hopkins’ appearances are limited but he’s old, heavy, and going crazy in the film, so he provides some depth. He’s Paltrow’s aging mathematical genius father who is losing his mind. Paltrow’s scenes jump back and forth to her time of caring for him and moving forward after he dies. In the process she’s wrestling with her own sanity and genius. A very good drama. I recommend it.
Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson and Gena Rowlands
I saw this one over a year ago and just watched it again today. I enjoy movies filmed in or set in Louisiana, especially if they’re good. This is a darker movie about old New Orleans and voodoo, and it has some amazing plot twists. It’s not a horror film but a great suspense thriller. It’s grade A entertainment that will keep you hooked.