I often moan about the lack of anything good on TV, but today I got very lucky and saw four good films in a row, none of which I’d ever seen before. Just good, nothing I’d say anybody has to see, but intelligent and original, at least. They had interesting characters with interesting conflicts, and none of them, except for the last one, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, depended on guns and explosions or special effects that much. By that time I was in the mood for something less challenging anyway, and I can always watch Arnold kicking the shit out of people and wisecracking about it. He’s like a more thuggish James Bond.
The first one, called Nine, was about a famous director, and he had a wife, and a super hot girlfriend (Penelope Cruz) and all sorts of hot starlets wanting to sleep with him, but his wife wasn’t happy about the whole situation, and it had flashbacks to his childhood and a fantasy scene of him in a hot tub with the pope, and song, because it was a musical. In the end, a really solid film about mid-life crisis with plenty of glitz and tits.
The second one was a shift from dark to light. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, about a magic toy store. Cute, and the ending was a bit lame, oh, look, the magic is real. But, it had interesting characters and the struggle between existing in reality and believing in magic was well-played.
The third one kind of surprised me. Chaos Theory, which kind of veers between light-hearted comedy and a wrenching story of a guy who finds out, through a bizarre series of events which leave you, at several points, thinking the film is going to go in a totally different direction, that he is sterile and therefore his 7 year old daughter is not his. The film could have ended 3 minutes earlier, though, and been complete. The whole 15 years later thing was completely unnecessary.
Then came the Schwarzenegger vehicle, I think it was called The 6th Day, or something like that. It was in the near future (one of my favorite settings), and they used a lot of tech which is just over the horizon, and made it very believable. They thought Arnold was dead so they cloned him, but then they had to kill the clone to cover it up, and eventually the two Arnolds had to team up to save his/their family. Twice the Arnold.