3 Movie ReviewsJune 2, 2004
Over the past week, we've seen three films, all worthwhile.
All three of us enjoyed this sequel, and would definitely recommend it. Nevertheless, my opinion is that it fails to measure up to the original. I thought the flow from scene to scene was forced. The movie struck me as a collection of clever moments from a storyboard collection only tangently related to each other. The princess was a much weaker character, and the musical numbers less entertaining. Puss in Boots, however, is hilarious to watch, especially for cat lovers, and was easily our favorite element.
This is a excellent documentary on the 1999 National Spelling Bee that focuses on 8 boys and girls as they make their way from hometown heroes to one of 250 competing kids in Washington D.C. It is very entertaining to continually contrast the each family with the others. The obsessive and highly-driven types are well represented, particularly a family that performed over 5,000 word drills a day and hired a spelling coach that not only trained their son for months, but was brought with them to the competition. Even in the final victory (which was not the young man just mentioned, by the way) I don't know if there is a single moment in the film that would make you want your child to participate. Though all of the kids drew some pleasure from the challenge and competion, every single one was thrilled to have their spelling bee participation end, as many had been doing it for years.
My favorite part was when they interviewed winners from years past and a man who was now in his late 30's described how it was not exactly the best title to attract women and that he had spent much of his life trying to downplay it!
Easily my favorite movie so far this year, Shattered Glass tells the true story of a New Republic magazine reporter who quickly rises to the top fresh out of college, but is later discovered to have fabricated many of his stories. It is well done, well acted, suspenseful, and clever. And, for once, the bonus features are worthwhile, including a 60 Minutes interview with the reporter himself.