Ask a critic... Movies, posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online, on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:47 am Tyler Hanley is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
OK, I don't like to refer to myself as "a critic" (I prefer "reviewer" -- doesn't sound as stuffy), but I thought I'd start this thread for anyone who has questions about movies (past, present and future). Wondering which new DVDs to watch? Which films are best for families? What about the "best movie of all time"? I'll be happy to answer any and all questions throughout the week -- nothing too quirky or controversial is off limits.
Ask your questions (or leave your comments) here and I'll respond as quickly as possible.
Posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online, on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:13 am Tyler Hanley is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I'd say no, it wasn't. 2007 was a bleak year for films (likely a reflection of the current political discord in the U.S.). Nearly every one of the Best Picture nominees was about dark subject matter and often left the viewer feeling more drained than uplifted (Jon Stewart even joked about it at this year's Oscar presentation).
Looking back, out of all the Best Picture nominees, only "Juno" proved to be very uplifting. Even though I listed "3:10 to Yuma" as my top film of the year, I think I'd have to say "Ratatouille" was probably my sentimental favorite.
Posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online, on Mar 10, 2008 at 12:21 pm Tyler Hanley is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I'm afraid I haven't seen it yet, though it's on my list. My colleague, Jeanne Aufmuth, really enjoyed it though, giving it 3 1/2 stars in her review. Jeanne and I often (though not always) agree on films, so my guess is that it's well worth going to the theater for.
Posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online, on Mar 14, 2008 at 10:50 am Tyler Hanley is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Actually, Jeanne's appreciation for film stretches far beyond simply movies with sex and violence. She disliked (as did many other critics) Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York," which was filled with violence. On the other hand, one of her top movies last year was "Into the Wild," which had no sex or violence whatsoever. In fact, I have more respect for Jeanne's views on film over almost any other (save for my brother, who is a filmmaker) because she appreciates and has expansive knowledge on a wide variety of films.
I will agree, Movie goer, that stories about people and life's complexities have more of an impact and are often more effective than simple adrenaline rides. I recently finished watching a personal favorite -- "Kramer vs. Kramer" -- which is an excellent example of that point.