Here are the reviews I promised last time. They’re more recent, which is a nice change in my general viewing habits.
The King’s Speech: I like period pieces. Something about looking into the past and comparing it to the present is comforting, because some things really do never change. I had never heard about George V’s stutter before, but I found that comfort I mentioned in knowing that famous people had perfectly ordinary problems back in the day. That’s a whole lot better than 72-day marriages and TV teen moms. All of the actors were brilliant, of course, and the pacing was just right to keep it realistic and in motion at the same time. All the accolades were well deserved. That is what historical films should be like.
The Rite: I had been hesitant about seeing this. When you are a Catholic and work for the Catholic Church, you’re automatically more sensitive about the depictions of Catholicism in popular media. I am no exception. Any movie that says it’s “inspired by true events” is probably about 50% fiction and 50% fact, and the facts will only be the boring parts. That said, I liked The Rite. I liked the uncertainty over whether the priest on which the movie was based would actually be ordained. (Most of that suspense was because I just plain forgot the storyteller was a priest, so he’d necessarily have to make it to ordination.) I liked that he started as a skeptic and was met by a skeptic who showed him that truth is often tougher to believe than fiction. The particular means by which the priest triumphed over the devil was perfect. I was rooting for him, and I loved that he didn’t get the girl in the end. I’d recommend taking it with a grain of salt, but it’s a more modern take on exorcism than The Exorcist. (It even references it! So meta.)
Serenity: I discovered Firefly in college, when my friend Andrew insisted we watch the first few episodes. I saw a few more in grad school, but I finally finished them after I got my iPhone because I could rent each episode for 99 cents and kill time on planes quite handily. On my most recent flight, I rented and watched Serenity, the conclusion movie clamored for and won by rabid fans. It was fantastic! I loved how it clearly picked up missing threads from the series but also built out new storylines. The inside jokes still made me laugh. Firefly was definitely one of the most under-appreciated series on television. If you haven’t seen it, please do! I know “sci-fi Western” sounds too strange to even be passable, but give the pilot a chance, and prepare to be delighted.
There’s a nice batch of recent releases to help fill your time off from work. You’re welcome.