The Palm Springs International Film Festival is in full swing just a short distance from where I live. Local TV and the newspapers are full of pictures of Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Helen Mirren, and Sally Field. I’ve never gone to the festival and am not going this year, but it reminds me of films I’ve liked and/or disliked of those I’ve seen recently.
I love movies almost as much as I love books, but I admit–-as in the case of books–-my taste may not be anyone else’s. Not even my husband’s. He likes war films, I don’t. Unless, they’re more about a problem to be solved than the fighting itself.
For instance I enjoyed STALAG 17, THE GREAT ESCAPE, and THE GUNS OF NAVARRONE, among others. Hubby gets to see war movies on television, rents them on Netflix and also plays them on the big screen in the little theatre in our gated community. Free of charge. Most of the ones he shows--as well as the two other gentlemen who provide the films-–are older, but their clientele likes to see those oldies on a big screen surrounded by other viewers once again.
Rather than wait for Netflix every time, we sometimes go into the neighborhood cineplex. That’s where we recently saw SKYFALL, the latest James Bond film in the franchise they reminded us is fifty years old. The first, DR. NO, appeared in 1962. What can I say? It’s our guilty pleasure. SKYFALL is by no means our favorite Bond film, (Given the chance, I’d have written a different last half hour), and we often have discussions with friends about which actor best portrayed 007.
While one of the eight theatres showed SKYFALL, four of them were showing THE HOBBIT; but I am no more a fantasy lover than I am a war-film buff. I never read Tolkein’s books and don’t plan to, but I read all those of Ian Fleming years ago.
Speaking of actors, I admire both Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, but their film, HOPE SPRINGS, struck me as being a long, boring Infomercial about the value of sex therapy. The same can be said, although on a slightly different topic, about FLIGHT. Hubby knows about commercial airliners, having been an engineer with a major U.S. carrier, and he says the cockpit scenes about trying to save the plane are accurate. But that took only ten minutes of the movie, and the rest could be termed an Infomercial for Alcoholics Anonymous. Although Denzel Washington might get an Oscar for his good acting.
I loved ARGO and hope Ben Affleck gets an Oscar for either acting or directing. And I still plan to see LINCOLN, LES MISERABLES and JACK REACHER. But probably not GUILT TRIP, in which Barbra Streisand plays a Jewish mother. Type casting, anyone? I like Babs but it sounds like a wait-for-Netflix movie.
What about you, readers? Got any favorites you can share?