Thursday, December 18, 2008

Movie Night

Watched a couple of really good movies last night. The Edge of Heaven was one of them.

It's listed as German-Turkish. There are a few main protagonists. The first is a guy named Nejat, who is seeking redemption for something his father did by attempting to find a woman named Ayten, and pay for her education. Nejat lives in Germany. He starts his search in Turkey.

Ayten is a Turkish political activist who finds herself in deep shit, so she flees to Germany.

I'm trying to give as little away as I can, because nothing in this movie plays out the way you think it will. The way all the characters meet, interact, and play off each other is really inspired and brilliant. (Won best screenplay at Cannes, 2007)

The whole movie is set when Turkey is trying to enter the European Union. It's not necessary to know a bunch of political stuff about this, because the plot focuses mainly on the characters, and not the politics and all the other crap that would probably have bored me sick. The politics are more of a backdrop, and at times an oppressive obstacle for the characters.

And no European movie would be complete without some hot lesbian kissing scenes. Yes, there is something for everybody.

This is a movie that I will want to see again, so if you decide to rent it, and have no one to watch it with, I'm down. Unless you like to talk all through movies. Then you're on your own.

Scarecrow

1973 movie with Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. I have no idea how this movie slipped under my radar for so long.

Hackman plays Max, an ex-con with a real nasty violent streak, whose dream is to start a car wash. Pacino plays Frank (or Lionel), a clownish loser whose dream is to see the kid he abandoned before it was born. They meet hitchhiking in California headed east.

Hackman is his usual grouchy, not-to-be-fucked-with self. He does not take any shit from anyone. He is in pain. His first choice in any situation is to kick your ass.

Pacino is fucking amazing. It SO great to see early Pacino movies, back when he actually acted, rather than playing a blown-up, annoying caricature of himself. He carries around a gift box, with a present for his kid in it. The present is pathetic, but so is Frank. Frank wants to make you laugh.

These guys get into some cool situations during their journey. Some people may have a problem with the fact that these guys always seem to have money. Why would they be hitchhiking? If they can afford to drink in a bar, why not just buy a Greyhound ticket? You have to remember the time - it was the 70s. Hitchhiking wasn't even considered dangerous back then. People didn't live in constant fear of everyone around them. I used to hitchhike when I was eight years old. Sounds crazy, right? Imagine an eight-year-old hitching down a road in New Jersey now, when everyone is certain that terrorists and child molesters lurk around every corner. TV and computers have made you afraid.... Okay, don't get me started on that.

Another great thing about this movie? Ann Wedgeworth (Lana, from Three's Company) and Eileen Brennan. Both are really great in this movie. Their performances are funny and touching. Richard Lynch is another great character actor you'll recognize. He's spot on, as usual.

Like a lot of 70s movies, it starts out happy-go-lucky, and then reality sets in and things get ugly.

This movie was made before every single Hollywood movie had to fit into a formula. Therefore, you may be a little "WTF" at the end, but it's still very worth a rental.