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Old February 13 2012, 07:04 PM   #222
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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2012

10. Blood Simple (A-)
11. The Big Lebowski (B+)
12. West Side Story (A-)
13. The Hours (A-)
14. Lady and the Tramp (B)
15. An Officer and a Gentleman (B)

Since Valentine's Day is soon upon us, my recent viewing has involved a number of romance-heavy films. This was one of the first of a series of blockbuster 1980s romantic dramas (and the first of two to have a chart-topping love duet featuring Jennifer Warnes; looking back, the 1980s really were the golden age of the movie soundtrack). The strongest aspect of it is the romance between Richard Gere and Debra Winger, particularly Winger's wonderful performance. The weaker elements on the movie relate mainly to Gere's character, whose psychological drama is incredibly obvious from the first frame; and Gere, while capable, isn't nearly dynamic enough as an actor to make this sort of character all that compelling. The climactic suicide of a supporting character seems rather unmotivated. Conversely, I suspect that if this movie were made today there'd be a lot more grrrl power drama about side-character Seeger, but the more understated approach I think works a lot better. Lou Gossett Jr. won the Oscar for his role as a drill sergeant (the first black actor to win Best Supporting Actor; director Taylor Hackford is, at present, the only man to direct two black actors to Oscars, though Tate Taylor may join him within the month), and it's a good performance, though I don't think it stands out that much. But watching him made me realize how rarely this sort of role is a real character anymore; most movie drill sergeants now are somebody riffing on R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket (whereas here Ermey was only Gossett's technical advisor).

Cinema: 4
Home Video: 9
Computer: 2
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