Summer Movie Roundup

I’m trying to watch more movies this summer. I’ve been consulting friends and family and peeking at the IMDb top 250 list before adding a movie to the Netflix queue. So far I’ve seen:

The Pained Veil — A cholera epidemic hits rural China; idealistic western doctor goes to help; doctor’s wife has an affair. This is a fine movie but the affair plot line seemed a bit old to me, fantastic imagery of China notwithstanding.

The Departed — Awesome. Awesome lines (Alec Baldwin is genius), awesome plot twists, awesome acting. I loved it. I recommend it.

Seven Up — The famous British documentary which tracks a group of British children at age 7, 14, 21, and onwards. I watched the kids at 7 and 14 — fascinating to see how they develop. The group is socio-economically diverse. The interviewer asked the rich seven year old if he’s traveled much and the boy responds with a handful of names of countries. The interviewer asks a poor seven year if he’s traveled much and the boy says he’s been to the museum and local park.

Doctor Zhivago — In anticipation of my trip to Russia, I had to watch this classic. It’s long, but worth it for any traveler to Russia.

Munich — An intense movie about the Israeli olympic athlete hostages in Munich 1972. While there are debates about the accuracy of Spielberg’s efforts, and there always will be in a film such as this, I didn’t find it heavy handed one way or another. I recommend it.

And the Band Played On — An interesting film about the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s, Regan’s inaction, San Francisco’s role as a hub for activism and infection, and some of the colorful scientific personalities trying to understand it all. The acting is sub-par but in terms of delivering the story the movie does a good job. It made me want to learn more about the AIDS situation both then and now (it still ravages many parts of Africa).

Ah, I already feel more hip and informed. Let the Netflix queue roll on….

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