DVDs, Good and Bad

Here’s a recap of some DVDs I’ve viewed recently and some quick takes on them:

The Last Samurai is as good a depiction of culture clash as I’ve seen. Director Edward Zwick pulls this off on so many levels—culture wars occur on two levels: the American adapting to Japan, and the old Japan’s conflict with modernity. A few characters were a little too “Hollywood formula” for me, but it was a great film nonetheless. 7 out of 10.

After watching the 1998 film Rushmore, I only have two things to say. First, with the exception of Groundhog Day, Bill Murray is at his best when doing true comedy, not the sullen, loser-guy role he plays in this movie and in Lost in Translation. Groundskeeper Carl in Caddyshack, yes. Rushmore, no. Second, I really hate it when movies go over the top in trying to be novel and artistic. Rushmore falls into this category. Bad movie. 3 out of 10.

It’s difficult to judge a movie I haven’t seen (there are rare exceptions, like anything by Michael Moore…), but since I did watch 15 minutes of Cold Mountain, I can give a 15 second review. The fake Southern accents by 90% of the cast turned me off so much that I couldn’t bear to watch anymore (OK, I’ll admit I did have some time constraints that played a small role). Why can’t actors ever get Southern accents right? Just reviewing the accents alone: 2 out of 10.

3 thoughts on “DVDs, Good and Bad”

  1. Oh it breaks my heart! Thumbs down for Rushmore? I suppose Wes Anderson films are an acquired taste… I actually think Royal Tenembaums was even funnier.

  2. I too liked The Last Samurai. One thing that bothered me though was the distinct ‘good culture’ ‘bad culture’ way the groups were presented. Americans=bad; Native Americans=good; Samurai culture=good; Modern culture=bad. Tom Cruise’s character=bad while American, good after conversion to Samurai culture.

  3. Unfortunately, I endured a tortured viewing of Cold Mountain in its entirety. The 15 minute slice is all you need, don’t inflict even more pain upon yourself.

Comments are closed.