Sunday, March 22, 2009

2 More Best Picture Movites- Platoon and Out of Africa

I watched 2 more movies on my "picture of the year list". I watched both of these last Saturday during my failed DIY kinky twist experiment... Even though I wasted 3-4 hours last weekend trying and failing to put in my twist extensions, the day wasn't a complete loss because i got to see 2 really good movies!

The first movie I watched was Platoon. I didn't think I would really like this movie, since I'm not that into war movies but it turned out to be a pretty decent flick. The movie centered around the lives of 13 soldiers and specifically 1 new soldier who had volunteered to go to Vietnam (he was a wealthy, white guy who dropped out of college) in an effort to personally recify the injustice of only the poor having to go to war (something the other "poor" soldiers thought was really idiotic). The movie kind of followed his change from a shared shitless newbie to a "real" soldier and showed his struggle to not let the atrocities that he saw committed in Vietnam turn him into a monster as well.

The movie was violent, but not in a gratuitous way, and had that late '70s, grimy, M.A.S.H type visual effect... like the movies i used to watch on Sunday afternoons on FOX growing up. Overall I really enjoyed the movie To me, the main theme of the movie seemed to be the struggle not to let Vietnam eat the soldiers alive... Stress, fatigue, disease, often leads soldiers to do things that they wouldn't normally do (rape, kill innocents, pillage villages) and it seemed like there was a real struggle within all of the characters around what Vietnam was making them become. There were 13 or so "supporting" characters and I really appreciated the fact that each of the 13 had their own personality with depth... it wasn't just like, "this is the evil guy ann this is the good guy..." they each had their own struggle, which Oliver Stone was able to get across quite skillfully despite the fact that no one had that many lines. Also it was also just kind of cool to see all of the young actors, Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp, The guy from Scrubs, Willem Defou, Forrest Whitaker, the bad guy trying to take over Ice Cube's shop in Barbershop... Good times all around. I don't know if I'd watch the movie again, but i give it a solid B.

The second film I watched was Out of Africa. I was NOT excited about watching this... from the previews it seemed like it was going to be one of those beautiful, sweeping, but mind-numbingly boring pics... like the English Patient. Also the movie is about colonial Kenya and the main characters were all rich white people.... I was not excited about this movie. But it turned out to be REALLY great! The main character, played by Meryl Streep, was an "aging" (probably late 20's... but I guess that's old for a single woman in the early 1900s) single woman with family money who married her best friend, a poor Baron, in exchange for a title and had to relocate to Kenya to be with her new husband.

When she arrived at her new place it was made pretty clear to her that her marriage wasn't real and her new husband wasn't really going to be around much and of course at first she was put off by all the black faces she saw. She didn't trust anyone... she looked at all the natives like they were dirty and were going to steal her stuff...( needless to say I was getting annoyed at this point.) With no friends or family in the remote area where she lived, the Baroness decided to throw all of her energy into making sure her farm prospered and creating actual relationships with the people who worked on the farm and lived in the neighboring villages. During this time she met and fell in love with a man, played by Robert Redford, who seemed to be sort of a wandering/jack of all trades type... but with money. LOL He was sexy and funny and they had a true connection and fell in love.. aWWW but he was also a man and didn't want to be "controlled" by calling it a relationship or actually getting married.

Anywhoo I'm not going to recap the entire story, but all in all the Baroness grew to really care about her "native" neighbors and friends... not in an annoying, paternalistic type of way, but a real, honest affection for who they were and respect for their ways and culture. Through her relationship with Robert Redford's character (who was RIDICULOUSLY hot in this movie...) she discovered herself, her own self worth. SUCH a great movie! The end was heartbreaking... I was sitting in my apartment crying like a fool. I won't spoil it, but it's definitely worth checking out. I would watch it again in a heartbeat, so i give Out of Africa a solid A.

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