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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Old Zach at the Movies

This past weekend, I saw two good, but quite different movies.

The first was, of course, War of the Worlds. Being the target demographic that I am, I have to see movies the first weekend they come out. Simply put, Spielberg was on point. War did not suffer from the normal fate of alien invasion movies, being too cheesy, or too over the top, or relying too much on special effects. Mind you, there are plenty of special effects in this movie, as well as some cheesy parts, but overall Spielberg does an excellent job capturing the spirit of panic, terror, and helplessness that permeates H.G. Wells' story. Despite the fact that Tom Cruise is a complete wack-job, his movies are almost always good and that rings true again here. The really incredible performance, however, is that of 11-year-old Dakota Fanning. This is the next Jodie Foster. It is simply amazing to me that someone so young can be so accomplished at their craft, but she is. I just hope her career doesn't take a turn into Drew Barrymore-land.

The second movie I saw was the British crime drama Layer Cake. This was the first directing effort by Matthew Vaughn who produced the cult classics Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. While this movie wasn't paced quite as well as those two and the characters weren't quite as entertaining, I actually thought this was a more solid film overall. The story was better and the ending is great. Though I was skeptical at first, I can now see why Daniel Craig's name has been floated for the next James Bond. Also, Colm Meany is one of my favorite character actors and he brings his A-game here. If this movie is showing anywher near you, I recommend seeing it.

Now the only question is, will I have time to see Fantastic Four this weekend?


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