Weekend of Movies

Well we are home. I have to say that running around Birmingham and Montgomery makes me sad that I live in such a little place. The people here are great and I love that I have had personal contact with most of the teenagers, but I really really wish we had a movie theater here. I love movies. I love being there in the theater for a couple of hours and shutting everything out and just getting lost in the story. When we lived in Auburn we would go to the movie at least once a week and most weeks multiple times. When you get a chance to go to multiple movies you aren’t as afraid of trying out lots of different titles because it isn’t that big of a deal if you get a bad one. Now that we live an hour from the nearest multiplex we have to be more cautious.

I say all of that to say that I have officially decided that I am no longer an avid movie watcher. I really wish I was, but I just don’t have the ability to see a good selection of movies and make my decision. There was a time when I actually had seen every movie up for best picture (the year of Braveheart, but I can’t remember the other ones) but those days are long past. So I wanted to warn you that I am not the movie reviewer that I once was so take these reviews with a grain of salt.

Meredith and I watched 2 movies this weekend. We caught the late showing of In Good Company on Sunday night and watched The Phantom of the Opera Monday afternoon. Let me take them in chronological order (at least for me anyway)

In Good Company:

This movie was one of those that I wished I had never seen any previews for, not because it gave the movie away as so often is the case for previews, but because it sold the movie as a romantic comedy. Maybe I read all of the previews that I watched wrong, but I was sure that it was going to be a pretty formulaic movie. It turns out that it is more of a drama about corporations, coming of age, and getting older.

I enjoyed the movie, and I think if I hadn’t been looking for (or maybe dreading) the traditional romantic comedy hooks around every corner I would have liked it even more. There are some great scenes in it that really have to do with being a man in the workforce (or at least I assume they are good I have never really been a part of the workforce). There are also a couple of good “passing the torch of manhood” moments that I will use in Bible study in the future.

On top of all of that it is clean with just a few instances of bad language and no really uncomfortable sex parts. I would suggest this as a movie to take your parents to see. It never left me bored, and I made me smile more than once. Don’t treat it as a romantic comedy and I think you will come out feeling you have gotten your $8.00 worth.

The Phantom of the Opera:

Alright let me start by saying that I owned the complete soundtrack to the broadway show and listened to it enough to know all of the major songs. I had never seen the play and was a little fuzzy about how all of the story worked out so it was cool to see it on stage.

For those of you like me who have heard the soundtrack, but haven’t gotten a chance to actually see the play or for those who love the Phantom there is something really cool about hearing “lot 664” and then seeing the music box “still in working order” and hearing it play masquerade.

If you have no connection to the music at all I think this is still a great story. Be aware that this isn’t like Chicago with a musical numbers around the story. This is a full on musical with more lines sung than spoken. I enjoyed every minute of it, but I know that may be too much for some people.

Through most of the movie I was humming along and smiling while I did it. I have to say that I have been away from the whole Phantom thing for a while so it was cool to be back involved with that music again. I guess the best praise I can give the movie is that Meredith enjoyed it and was able to follow the story (in some places better than I was) and she had barely even heard of the musical.

Some things that I noticed: The music is dated in a couple of places, or at least it sounded that way to me. There are some places where it feels like a 20th century rock ballad more than a high art classical piece of music. Like I said I was very familiar with this music and never really had a problem with that before, but something about seeing it in the context of 1870’s France and it seemed a little off. I think that was my only real complaint. I thought the casting was great, even though I was way shocked by Mini Driver’s role.

It will be a while before this comes out on video, but Masquerade is a song made for youth ministry and spiritual points. We all walk around in our “masks” hiding from people who we really are. It will be a good clip to use in a future lesson.

Alright I think that is all. I got all of my movie reviews out and I think my I-missed-my-computer-so-I-need-to-type-a-while feeling if finally better.

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