Saturday, December 09, 2006

Movie Reviews: Derailed and North Country

Today I was planning on doing a big crafty roundup, but I'm feeling a bit uninspired. Plus, I realized that not all of my links for it are on, but a few are still saved at my home PC in my Firefox bookmarks, and I would really like to include those too. But, I still wanted to post something, so I figured I'd do two really quick reviews of a couple of (perfectly legal) movies a friend/co-worker lent to me.

Movie #1: Derailed

This movie stars Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen and is categorized as a suspense/thriller movie. It is based on a book, which I am morbidly curious about now that I've seen the movie.

I won't really try to describe the plot too much, but the basics are that two people meet (Aniston and Owen) and decide to start an affair, but get blackmailed by a 'violent criminal' (Vincent Cassel).

To be quite honest, I'm not really a fan of Aniston movies. I usually find her performance quite flat. However, she often stars in films opposite good looking guys and the movies are generally light and fluffy romantic comedy type films. Not my favourite genre, but good for an occassional indulgence. Clive Owen I've seen in King Arthur and in Sin City, neither of which really lived up to their hype in my opinion (and I don't even really remember Owen in Sin City either). I don't think this movie really improved my opinion of either actor.

The plot I found a bit interesting. The book might be the one thing that could improve upon it. However, I didn't really find the criminal mastermind very intelligent. My biggest beef was what he did with all the money he was getting. You'd think he could have laundered at least some of it. Or, how about not keeping it all in the same location, in the same bag it was delivered in.

The one small glimmer of a highlight in the movie was Vincent Cassel, whose performance I thought was the most convincing. I've enjoyed him in all the roles that I've seen him in (Elizabeth, Ocean's Twelve, and Brotherhood of the Wolf) and looking at his entry in IMDB, he's been quite busy. I love the amount of expression he has in his voice (he was also Monsieur Hood in Shrek) and eyes. I think he's an actor I'll look out for in the future.

Movie #2: North Country

This movie is based on actual events surrounding a class action sexual harrassment case during the 1980's. It stars Charlize Theron, Sissy Spacek, Sean Bean, and Woody Harrelson.

I enjoyed the performances and plot much more in this film than in Derailed. It wasn't a big blockbuster movie, but I thought it was executed quite well. It's not something I'd keep in my personal collection, but it was worth watching. The performances were all quite strong, but I particularly liked Theron and Spacek. Their work together on screen was fabulous. Sean Bean was also great as a supporting actor along with Woody Harrelson.

There's a lot of movies that are coming out this season that I'd love to see. But, not sure I'll get a chance to. We'll see what movie I get a chance to review next.

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