Monday, May 16, 2005

Sideways

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I am not much of a film-goer, and if I do see a film, generally it's a family film. Yes, I love animation and computer graphics and usually think the work is brilliant and so realistic. I have no shame in admitting even kids' movie soundtracks can have me crying, and trying to hide the tears from my kids and hubby as soon as the theater house lights come up.

Recently we rented two DVD's -- one for family/kids' entertainment and one for grown-up entertainment (I figured "adult entertainment" doesn't sound so nice.) The family film was Shark Tale http://www.sharktale.com/ -- we all enjoyed it, although there were no real laugh-out-loud moments for anyone. I, however, laughed when my five-year-old asked me in the middle of the film, "Where's Nemo?" Guess he's seen one animated film too many!

I am fascinated by the graphics animation and the myriad details that go into making a film such as this. The characterization and physical traits of the voice-over actors (Robert De Niro, Martin Scorcese, Will Smith, Angelina Jolie for examples) are so closely linked, I can't help but smile inwardly as I think how the many fine nuances of these actors have been captured on-screen for the audience. Of course, children wouldn't recognize this, but we adults do, and are most appreciative of what we're viewing.

Many of these children's animated films are truly grown-up films -- the jokes, the innuendos, the references are tangible for us, if not for children. But they are seeking their own reasons for considering it a good film. Shark Tale passed the test for this family, young and old(er)!

Once the kids were in their beds for the night, hubby and I had tuned in to the second feature, Sideways. My husband had already seen the film at the theater with a male friend several months earlier, but wanted to rent it for me to watch. Am I ever glad he did!

Although slow-moving, it was a brilliant film -- in its casting, in its story line, in its setting, in its photography, in its characterization, in its story within a story, along with the insights to fine wines: wine-tasting, bouquets, clarity, flavor, aging, etc.

Perhaps had I seen the film in a theater, I might have found it more slow-moving, but in the comfort of our family room, with the chance to lounge on the sofa, I found it satisfying, and what I call to be "a thinking man's movie." There's a lot of introspection being done by one of the main characters, and although it's not him who is supposed to be taking a metaphorical journey before marriage, but just leading the way, he also becomes a passenger as he explores his past, present and future relationships and examines himself and his qualities against those of other characters.

This film is quirky and simple and was just right for my husband and I to enjoy -- it's not often that we're both agreeable on viewing a film. I'm pleased that Sideways was one film that we could agree on!

8 comments:

Air Time said...

I thought Shark Tale was the worst kids movie I had seen since Pocahontas.

Just Passing Through said...

I actually enjoyed Shark Tale. Though my kids will never see it. My wife has crazy strict guidelines which rule out just about every movie besides AirBud :-)

Mirty said...

"Sideways" was great, I thought. Some women I know objected to watching a movie about guys getting drunk and being stupid, but somehow I found this particular brand of drunk and stupid amusing, no doubt because of the main character's detached observations and introspection.

Anonymous said...

You didn't like Pocahontas? That was my favorite movie when I was younger :-)

torontopearl said...

And when I was a kid (my age is definitely showing), the kids' movies of the day were primarily "Mary Poppins" and a bit later, "The Sound of Music". Then came "Chitty, Chitty, Bang Bang" and the Herbie Love Bug movies, as well as "Oliver.". But really, Mary Poppins is the classic film from my early childhood!

Air Time said...

I read that they are coming out with a new Herbie this summer.

M said...

I adore "Mary Poppins." It's such an elegant story, warm and inviting but slightly sinister at the same time. I think it's coming to Broadway soon, I'd love to see it.

Doctor Bean said...

Sideways was great. The scene when he is chased out of the stranger's house and drives away with the stranger running after him was one of the biggest laughs I've ever had at a movie.