Mike Kueber's Blog

March 17, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies #17 – The Ides of March and Out of Sight, plus The Tree of Life

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 2:02 am
Tags: , , , ,

In addition to starring in both movies, George Clooney wrote, produced, and directed The Ides of March

The Ides of March is a great political movie.  The dialogue reminded me of Aaron Sorkin’s writing in the TV show West Wing and the movie American President, with the political guys so smart and witty.   The difference is that Sorkin’s writing is more idealistic, with the liberal good guys ultimately doing the right thing.  By contrast, The Ides of March, which co-stars Ryan Gosling, reveals that even idealistic liberals can be compromised.  The movie received an 85% rating from Rotten Tomato.

Incidentally, the phrase Idea of March means March 15, which is the day that Julius Caesar was murdered.  In the case of this movie, I suspect that the murder victim was idealism.

Out of Sight is a 1998 cops & robbers movie starring Clooney as the robber and Jennifer Lopez as the cop.  Entertainment Weekly rated it as the sexiest movie of all time, and it earned a 92% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.  I’m not sure about the “sexiest” ranking because, as a started watching it, I realized I had seen it before and apparently it hadn’t made much of an impression on me – unlike Bad Company with Ellen Barkin and Lawrence Fishburne, which I remembered years later.  My second viewing of Out of Sight, however, was more satisfying than the first.  Clooney is at his Cary Grant best and JLo is as attractive as any woman in cinema. 

Until the endings of the movies, I would probably give a slight edge to The Ides of March, but the dramatically different endings reverse the order and make Out of Sight the one that I would want to see again.

 The Tree of Life, a 2011 movie starring Brad Pitt was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture and earned an 84% Rotten Tomato rating from the critics, but I thought it stunk (and Rotten Tomato public viewers gave it a middling 60%).  Although most reviewers label the movie as a drama, it is better described as a quintessential art film.  Like modern or abstract art, I have no idea what it was about.  The movie’s only saving grace was that it was based in 1950’s Texas (a wonderful time and place) and it includes a drowning scene that appears to have been filmed at Barton Springs in Austin.

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