Movie REviews REviews by scripture reviews by alphabet
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                                   Awkwardness 
 
"Interview":  This movie feels very much like a play, because of the small cast, and the limited filming space.  A middle-aged New York City columnist (Steve Buscemi) who writes about national politics for a major publication, is asked by his editor to conduct an interview of a famous young starlet (Sienna Miller).  She arrives late, for no particular reason, which irritates him greatly, in addition to his being irritated about having to take this lowbrow assignment in the first place, and when it quickly becomes obvious that he knows nothing about her or her acting career, she gets so irritated that she just leaves.  But, while stopping to sign a few autographs for adoring fans, she notices that he bumped his head outside the restaurant, so she invites him to her nearby apartment to administer some first aid.  There, they begin a very long conversation that rambles all over the place, but eventually they seem to "get real" with each other.  This movie could have been really charming and winsome, but instead, it's cynical and depressing.  It's hard to enjoy either one of these characters, and the more we get to know them the less we like them.  Many genteel church folk will also find the language and subject material off-putting, as well as the frequent and uninhibited drug and alcohol usage.  Perhaps there are viewers somewhere who would appreciate all this awkwardness, but this unambitious film is destined for a quick trip to video.
 
"Vitus":  This charming little Swiss film also has its awkward moments, as child prodigy Vitus von Holzen (Fabrisio Borsani, age 6, and Theo Gheorghiu, age 12) tries to adjust to his enormous intellect and musical talent.  He finds he can play piano like a virtuoso at a very early age.  His well-meaning parents struggle with the fine line between simply encouraging his interests, and pushing him hard to fulfill his unlimited potential.  He finally utilizes a bad fall to fake a head injury to lower people's expectations, while he "keeps it real" with his doting grandfather (Bruno Ganz), who lives nearby.  What's endearing about this movie is the strong, supportive relationship between the parents (seldom modeled in Hollywood movies except in caricature), and the touching closeness of the unique little boy with his kind, eccentric grandfather.  The two boys are better piano players than they are actors, but their awkwardness is part of the charm.
 
"Rush Hour 3":  Yes, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker reprise their roles as an unlikely pairing of LA police detectives who are quickly in over their heads, but joke and stumble and fight their way through, and triumph over seemingly insurmountable adversity because they areā€¦.good at kung-fu, but even better at wisecracks.  Some of the comedic moments are quite awkward, as we're supposed to laugh at racial stereotyping, but it's all in good fun, and who couldn't use a few laughs?  The plot, of course, is merely prepared pretext.
 
"I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry":  Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler) is a NYC firefighter, whose good buddy and coworker, Larry Valentine (Kevin James), is facing a dilemma.  His wife has died, leaving behind their two young children for him to raise; no problem there.  But if something happened to him, he couldn't guarantee that his death benefits would go to them unless he got married again; which he has no interest in doing.  So, Chuck and Larry decide that they will file as "domestic partners" so that Chuck could receive Larry's benefits (and take care of the kids, whom he loves, too) if anything should happen to Larry.  Sounds good, except it's a sham, and the City's Fraud Department is suitably suspicious.  What begins as an awkward occasion for many tasteless jokes about gays becomes, in the end, a sermon about the importance of everybody accepting alternative lifestyles.
 
Questions For Discussion:
1) Should insureds by able to designate beneficiaries, regardless of legal relationship?
2) What makes a person a celebrity in our culture?  What ought to make a person a celebrity in our culture?
3) What is the responsibility of parents to enable the development of a truly gifted child?  Is that responsibility different if the extraordinary talent happens to be in athletics?  Music?  Drama?  Dance?  Academics?
 
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Terrell, Texas