I know I’ve been really slacking on my movie reviews lately. Here’s a bunch to make up for it.
Trekkies: This is a documentary about Star Trek fanatics, interspersed with commentary from several cast members. It’s very funny and occasionally disturbing without ever blatantly making fun of anybody. The interesting part is how many people I know who are just like these people – not Star Trek, but another television show, series of books, sports team, historical reenactment…there are fanatics everywhere. And while I would consider myself a fan of Star Trek, I realized that what most separates me from the Trekkies shown here is merchandise. I don’t have any desire for memorabilia or replicas or costumes or models. It’s the financial commitment that, to me, sets them apart more than anything else. And maybe the wearing of uniforms outside conventions. That’s a pretty big difference too.
Mission: Impossible III: There is a fine line between suspense and get-on-with-it, and there was nothing suspenseful about this movie. In between explosions and chase scenes, there are some kinda-terrorists and some kinda-righteous rogue government agents and a lot of random twists that never get resolved. Lame.
Poltergeist: I’m glad I didn’t see this as a kid, but it’s certainly not scary to an adult. I am afraid of what I can’t see; I am on the edge of my seat when I’m not sure when, how, or even if a character is going to die. Spielberg does not kill children in his movies, and the threat in Poltergeist is shown early on, almost humorously. Without suspense, there isn’t a whole lot to this movie. I’m glad I saw it and finally experienced this piece of pop culture, but I probably wouldn’t bother had it been made today.
Citizen Kane: “Classics are classics for a reason.” This is what I tend to believe about old movies, that if they weren’t any good they would have been forgotten by now. This is of course not true, especially with today’s rampant DVDing of every scrap of film that ever went to print, but I like to think the more famous movies still follow the rule. I say all this to explain my disappointment in Citizen Kane. It starts with a newsreel documentary of newspaper tycoon Kane’s life and death, then spends the rest of the movie rehashing it all in only slightly more detail. The whole Rosebud thing was kind of telling, but by the time it was revealed I was so tired of seeing everything twice that I didn’t care anymore. One thing I will say for this movie, though – it’s crossed my mind several times since I saw it. Kane was a man who wanted nothing more than for people to love him, and would pay any price for it – save giving his love to anyone else. It’s a subtle yet powerful character flaw, and Wells played it masterfully. Too bad the rest of the movie didn’t live up to its lead actor.