We enjoyed another movie marathon the other night, as thunderstorms again rocked the county and I had the computers unplugged. This time around, Angie and I watched A Beautiful Mind, Drumline and LA Confidential. Howie got off work a bit early and enjoyed the last movie with us.
What can I say about Russell Crowe’s performance? It is just masterful, so immersed is he in John Nash’s character. This was the second time I’ve seen it, and I was amazed all over again with how good he is in that, how good they all are.
I am on the hunt for information about John Nash again, because I am so impressed with his story. I cannot imagine what his life must have been like, or the incredible dedication and drive he has to handle something like that…All for the sake of keeping clear of the mind-deadening drugs and being able to reason.
Drumline was a pleasant surprise for me. I’d never heard of it and thought it might just be a lame teen movie. It’s loosely based on the story of Dallas Austin, a brilliant drummer who, despite being unable to read music, excelled in band and went on to become a heavyweight producer and songwriter. The movie features a lot of excellent footage of marching bands (actual top-notch band members from various schools), with some of the neatest choreography I’ve ever seen. There’s a good article about the director’s vision for the movie here.
Angie and I discussed it afterward, wondering if it was a movie which had broad appeal, or if it was mainly band geeks like ourselves who enjoyed it. I played trombone in high school, soley by ear; I attended band camp, but quit band before the actual season started. Someday I’ll have to tell the story of our band’s trip to the 1983 World’s Fair…Remind me.
LA Confidential was violent and peppered with a lot of bad language, but it was set in the context of the violent and corrupt 1950’s LAPD, after all. It’s based on the third novel in a series by James Ellroy, one which I want to read now. I love a good mystery, especially a multi-layered one.
Russell Crowe was okay in this, but it’s not one of his best roles. However, Kim Basinger really shines as a Lynn Bracken, a knockout celebrity look-alike callgirl. Also good is Guy Pearce as the twerpy little Detective Lieutenant Edmund Exley. There was violence, but also conscience; I really liked it.