Have I ever mentioned about how sometimes in the misty past, the historian and I used to see four movies a weekend? Regularly? Because we (and by we, I mean me) felt it would be a terrible thing to let a movie go unseen. By us.
I still get a little anxious about movies I haven't seen that I think I should see or should want to see, like Lust, Caution, which looks pretty and nonetheless seems possibly dreary to me. It's Ang Lee, who made Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is one of my most favorite movies ever. But I can't make Lust, Caution be on the top of the list, or Eastern Promises, either. I'm sure it's very dread-filled and cerebral and visceral all at the same time. Still hovering down at four or five on the list.
At the top of the list tonight was American Gangster. And guess why? Because it's a big Hollywood movie of the self-designated Important ilk, starring movie stars. It is not a great film. But it was pretty good, definitely not bad, and it was fun to watch, because it is a story about crime and punishment, law and order, bad guy/good guy, and it is a version of the truth. Kind of a throwback film, too, about the seventies and drugs in the city. If you're the kind of person who sees doom in films that are not great (sleepy e? sleepy e?), I would be cautious about this movie. But if you like movie stars that also know how to act and who couldn't be unwatchable if they tried (well, this is almost true of the actors in this film), then you might enjoy American Gangster.
Tomorrow night we will see another movie, we haven't decided which one. It might be Wristcutters: A love story or it might be We Own the Night, which I saw with college daughter but which I'm pretty sure that the historian would love and which was good enough that I would enjoy seeing it again. (I would really like to see Michael Clayton again, too, because the opening monologue--I want to memorize it, it's so great.)
But we hardly ever see more than two in a weekend these days, because we kind of like to let the movie sink in. I personally sometimes wake up the next morning with the movie on my mind, and then we can talk about it for a couple of minutes before we get up. Movie stars are one good thing about movies. Talking about them the morning after is another good thing.