War...and then rodents [Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006, 10:31 am]
One of the movies I watched over Thanksgiving break was "Saving Private Ryan." It's definitely not something I would recommend to anyone not mature enough to handle it. I mean, my 14-year-old brother saw it too, but there's more to maturity than just age. Anyway, it's one of those movies that I almost feel everyone should see at some point, because it seemed extremely real and important for a movie. I really wouldn't consider it "entertainment" at all. More like a documentary without the narrator. It reminded me so much of the different accounts I've read of World War 2 (and other wars, for that matter), and yet it was so much more vivid.
In movie class last semester, I read that Steven Spielberg actually used different filming techniques in this movie to make it look more like actual documentary footage. He used film that was missing a particular layer, and even damaged it at times to make things more realistic. And I could tell when I viewed the movie - occasionally bright lights would look "streaked" and sunny scenes were somewhat overexposed. Plus the jolting of the camera helped add to the chaos at times, without overdoing it.
So it was very authentic, just incredibly sad. I don't think the saddest scene was the deaths in the end, but rather the medic who was shot, and then tried to instruct the others on how to help him before he died. It's the kind of thing I'd read about, but seeing and hearing it was just so much more . . . chilling, and sobering. Just all the soldiers crowding around this one guy who's bleeding to death, trying to do something for him.
It was definitely a heart-wrenching story, and that's not an adjective I use very often. I just wish the story hadn't focused so much on a fictional account, although, I guess the real point was the relationships between the soldiers, and the "realities" of war (or as close as we can come to them on screen), not so much the exact battles that were fought.
On a lighter note, "Over the hedge" is also a very good movie, yet for exactly the opposite reasons. It's also not something that's only for a limited maturity range. Personally I find myself getting tired of all these "animal movie" trailers I've been seeing lately. And after "Madagascar" I was a little disenchanted with Dreamworks, but I would say it has sufficiently redeemed itself in my eyes. I mean, "Over the hedge" isn't brilliant, but it's still very funny. Some of the things were very cleverly done, and it's not a film that takes itself too seriously.
So there are my brief movie reviews of the day. Maybe I'll get into some book or "school subject" reviews later on, if I feel like it.