Movie reviews

Movie reviews likes X-Men 2 and I did too. I’ll admit my standards for an enjoyable movie aren’t high. I have a high tolerance for suspension of disbelief. Still, I enjoyed the movie more than other reviewers led me to believe. I was taken with one character’s frequent use of prayer and his unhesitating suggestion to another character to let go of anger and turn instead to faith as a survival tool. With such a large cast of characters, spanning from very young to old, the director does a good job keeping the plot from spinning out of control. Few of the characters seem shortchanged (except perhaps Cyclops), and each get their turn.

Among my favorite actors here was Ian McKellen as what can only be described as one of the two poles of villainy in the movie. His actions are ambiguous and he does good to effect evil and evil to effect good. It’s a complex character deftly played to elicit by turns both sympathy and dislike from the audience. It’s a shame that I have only lately come to know the fine work of Ian McKellen in X-Men and The Lord of the Rings (as Gandalf).

Another movie I saw recently was Catch Me If You Can, based on a true story, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. It’s a classic visual tale, told as much through images as through written dialogue. I was intrigued by the scene where the 16-year-old boy was told upon his parents announcing their divorce that he would have to sign a paper and make his choice of which parent to live with. Rather than choose, he runs away. Before that, the lawyer tells him not to be afraid of signing his name, over and over. He refuses to sign that paper, but is never again afraid to sign his name after that—signing millions of dollars in bad checks.

The whole movie is built like that and while it could have been a heavy drama, Spielberg kept it light and amusing in sufficient amounts to keep you laughing. As usual with most Hollywood actors, Tom Hanks supposed Boston accent was overdone; and was really a Kennedy accent. No one around here really sounds like that. Otherwise, he had another great performance as the stodgy, workaholic FBI agent.

The best line from the movie: “Why do the Yankees always win? Because the other players only see the pinstripes.” In other words, the Yankees’ own aura of invulnerability gives them an advantage in every game. As a Red Sox fan, boy, do I know that.