Friday, June 2, 2006

2 Good Movies, 1 Bad

by Steve Ray on June 2, 2006

Illuminated1.jpgFirst, my son Jesse recommended Everything is Illuminated which he said was a bit quircky. But because it was unusual, he thought I would like it. He was right — because he is a premium son (but you'll hve to watch the movie to get that inside joke). I'll watch it again in a few months to see what new interesting things I missed the first thing through. I suggest people with Jewish origins watch this movie. I don't want to say much more than the first hour was quirky and fun and the second half mysterious with twists and turns and a surprise ending.

Netflix says "A young American Jewish man begins an exhausting quest — aided by a naïve Ukranian translator — to find the righteous gentile woman who saved his grandfather when his small Ukranian village (along with most of the populace) was obliterated during the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941. Stars Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz and Boris Leskin. Liev Schreiber directs. Based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Tunnel2.jpgSecond, then today, I'm pretty sick with a whopper cold. I've tried to work but it seems the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. So I watched a long 3-hour movie entitled The Tunnel. It was based on the true story of a daring escape attempt out of East and into West Berlin in the 60's. Janet kept getting up to play with the grandkids whenever it got too tense. I thought it would be slow and somewhat tedious but I found myself sticking with the story and feeling for all the characthers. I really enjoyed it.

Netflix says, "Set in the 1960s, decades before the fall of the infamous Berlin Wall, The Tunnel chronicles one of the most daring escapes to freedom. East German championship swimmer Harry Melchior's (Heino Ferch) defection entailed willpower and a forged passport. But to get his sister Lotte and others out, he has to team up with a motley crew to dig a 145-yard tunnel to East Berlin — and, of course, ferry everyone back to safety.

Third, we watched another movie a day later entitle Solomon & Gaenor. It was about a Jewish boy and a Welsh Protestant girl that fell in love and conceived a child. Though you could feel for them as they struggled with the culture clash, we were disgusted with the movie because of the overabundant gratuitous sex, the lack of commitment by the boy and girl to their families and roots and to each other.

The girl seemed genuinely in love with the boy but he was in it for the infatuation and sex and he got serious too little and too late and ended up getting killed. The baby was put in an adoption agency and the girl went home in ignominy. It was good in because it showed the consequences of wrong choices and denying truth, loyalty and real love, but overall it was a big disappointment.

I added both of the good movies to the Ray Family Favorite Movies List.