Garden State
March 15, 2005

It's pretty sad when I can't remember the last movie I watched. I think it may have been "Eternal Sunshine on a Spotless Mind", but I can't be sure. With the Oscar Awards just gone by, there was a bunch of movies I wanted to see, but who has the time to sit down for 2 hours these days? (Unless it's Piglet's Big Movie with my 3-year-old for the 50th time).

I found myself at my local Blockbuster, wandering about trying to find a movie to relax to this weekend. I ended up renting "Garden State" - I've heard good things about it, but I had no idea what the movie was about. It turned out to be quite a good movie with surprisingly good acting. It's about a lost, numb twenty-something guy, who returns home to New Jersey following his mother's death, and ends up meeting a girl who helps him discover himself. So what's new? For one thing, it walks a nice line between how absurdly mundane our lives actually are, but how it's actually punctuated now and then by rare moments of warmth and sanity that help us make sense of where we've come from and where we may be headed.

There's a bunch of movie coming out soon that seem pretty worthwhile watching in the movie theatre (I'll probably end up watching on DVD):

  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: finally! I think they might actually have the technology to do a decent job of this classic.
  • The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe: WETA studios who did the special effects for the LOTR Trilogy teams up with Disney and the director of Shrek. I think people are still hungering for more "fantasy" following the LOTR. I can't remember when I first saw the animated version - I think it may have been in Vermont...
  • Star Wars 3: I just saw the trailer. It looks really good. Of course we have been disappointed twice already, but something in me just still wishes this one will put to rest all the bad acting and stretched story line of the last two, and will bring it all to a magnificent close. The trailer was so good that it reminded me of when I first saw the "Return of the Jedi" trailer. I think it was in a movie theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames, maybe before they played "Tron", or "the Cat from Outer Space" or "Herbie goes bananas" or something... I remember being blown away and just could believe that they could torture me to wait a year for it to come out. (When was the last time you were *blown away* by anything?) And then we finally went to see it and my heart was pounding as the orchestra played the theme music and the Star Wars logo appeared and faded into the night sky above Tatooine... oh those were the days...
  • Herbie, fully loaded: I think Hollywood is seriously running out of subject matter or good talent or both. I thought "Herbie rides again" would be the last, but they bring it back! I should have seen this one coming a mile away with they made the classic "Italian Job" with the new BMW Mini Coopers. Or maybe they are just being really smart (as a coworker pointed out) - they are actually marketing towards us - parents of our demographic - we remember the originals, and have kids who are old enough to enjoy the remake. More the reason not to buy it. They are also remaking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang can't be too far behind (I just discovered on IMDB that Ian Fleming wrote the original novel and Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay! Now I have a completely new appreciation for this movie.)