The Visitor, Prince of Persia and Toy Story 3

The Visitor

I had this movie on my watch list for some time – mostly because I really like Richard Jenkins and have never seen him play the central role in a film, he has always been more of a character actor with smaller supporting roles. The film is basically about a guy that is despondent with life since his wife died who meets a young bohemian couple who turn out to be illegal immigrants. One gets caught and deported. And while I clearly felt bad for the character that gets deported and didn’t like they way he was treated, I did take some issue with the repeated refrains of “He didn’t do anything wrong”. Because while its true he was a nice guy that just wanted to play music and live here, he was here illegally, so to say he didn’t do ANYTHING wrong is a little naive. However, it does show the darkside to the handling of illegals and puts a human face on those that just want a better life, so I am not trying to be a hardliner I just thought it should be noted. Also, although the movie has a serious and somber tone, I thought it missed out on some opportunities to inject some levity, Jenkins can be really funny and his fish-out-of-water character in this film could have easily led to some humorous moments.

Prince of Persia

Not a lot to say about this film. It was engaging and entertaining for the most part. I am a fan of the original video game, so there is some built-in fondness for it. I expected to be disappointed by Jake Gylenhall but was not, i thought he did great. And I expected Ben Kingsely to shine and he really didn’t – he seemed very underused as far as his potential. The one annoying part, that perhaps they had intended to be humorous is the 4 or 5 times the leads almost kiss. Why does there always have to be a love story? And I totally foresaw how neatly everything would be tied together at the end of the film, oh the advantages of a time-traveling plot device.

Toy Story 3

This was a great movie, it had all the charm of the other Toy Story films and is pact with humor and adventure. I laughed outloud at some of the Ken/Barbie scenes. (I had ot take Ella and Finn for a bathroom break during what I hear is the real scene-stealer of the movie – Spanish-speaking/dancing/romancing Buzz Lightyear). I remember thinking during the climactic escape scenes that it was one of the better action movies I had seen in a while, sorry Prince of Persia. I loved the Star Wars reference to Darth Vader throwing the Emperor to his death, but in this case it was the creepy and silent enforcer baby doll picking up the evil Lotso-Hugs Bear and throwing him into the trash – good stuff. The film had a really touching and nearly tear-inducing ending, where the gang of toys are passed on to a new owner that will love and play with them like Andy did. It was really sweet reminder of letting go of the past to make room for the future , but doing so in a way that enhances some else’s present and reminds you that your childhood will always be a part of who you are.

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