I have a pretty hard time just sittin’ around for long periods of time, but since I have been sick this weekend I had to do just that at my folks’ place in London, ON. Outside of a short outing to Costco and Pet Smart with my Ma, the rest of the day yesterday was spent in a horizontal position on the couch, under a blanket, watching movies.
On the bill were: Men Who Stare At Goats, The Messenger, The Ghost Writer, and Cold Souls.
I really enjoyed Men Who Stare At Goats (except maybe the end which was a little cheese ball), and have actually wanted to see this movie for a long time. When I was in university I took an “Altered States of Consciousness” class as part of my Psychology degree in which I first learned about the Remote Viewing program that was ran by the CIA and the US Army. I don’t remember everything we were taught about it, but I have a feeling that the movie actually skipped over some fascinating research outcomes that came out of this project. As in, I think that more than one “viewer” had a high success rate. In either case, the movie was set up as a comedy and not a documentary so I expected that most serious discussion on the merits of the program would be omitted.
The Ghost Writer – TWO, Ewan McGregor movies in a row?! Yep. I don’t have much to say about this one, good or bad. It was kind of your typical, middle of the road political thriller. Entertaining but nothing that will stay with me for a long time I think.
The Messenger – This movie I was pretty blown away by, rather not the movie so much as the acting. The basic premise of the film is centered around two US soldiers (played by Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson) assigned to the Casualty Notification Team, which is basically what it sounds like. The pair visit the next of kin of dead soldiers to inform them of their loved one’s deaths in combat. It is pretty emotional stuff to say the least. I remember hearing a radio interview with Harrelson around the time this movie was released and him stating that the director, Oren Moverman, did not tell them who they would be delivering the news to or how they would react. A lot of the “notification” scenes, he stated, were improvised by him and Foster on the spot. With that knowledge in the back of my head I was floored by the acting chops on these guys, which they additionally show off throughout the rest of the film. The plot line may loose momentum in certain areas, but I really don’t think anything bad can be said about any of the acting in this film. Get some tissues ready if you’re goona watch it.
Oh and as for Cold Souls, I only watched half of it so far so I will write about it when I am done. But I will say this, Paul Giamatti is in it…yeeeeeeeey! Love him!