It’s been more than two months since the last Weekly Updates, so the whole thing about catching up feels kind of ironic by now. Still, I’m hanging in there, and hopefully one day I’ll make up for lost ground. Maybe not today, probably not tomorrow...
Groundhog Day (1993) - 8/10
It took me a while to finally check out Groundhog Day, especially considering that it’s a film regarded by many as one of the best of the 90s and one of the most relevant time travel movies out there (a genre I am a great fan of). I guess the reason I kept postponing watching Groundhog Day was because I didn’t find its premise to appeal to me. Sure, time travel is always an interesting subject, but I guess the whole idea revolving around a news reporter and a silly festivity came off a bit too easy-going for me to take it seriously. I’m glad the film managed to dispel my doubts, because despite being of a far merrier tone than most time travel flicks I’ve seen, Groundhog Day turned out to be a thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable watch. Bill Murray is, of course, a fantastic lead and he carries the movie brilliantly; Andie MacDowell provides a capable romantic interest, and the rest of the actors in the supporting roles and bit parts do a good job as well. My only complaint with Groundhog Day would be its third act, which I felt did not live up to the rest of the film due to its rushed conclusion and happy-go-lucky approach. Nevertheless, the film remains a solid piece and it’s certainly one of the most memorable and enjoyable movies about time travel out there.
Sliding Doors (1998) - 6/10
I can’t really remember where I first heard about Sliding Doors, but based on what appeared to be a deeply intriguing plot, I immediately put on my to-watch list. Not much time has elapsed since, and I already got around to watching it (unlike other movies to which it takes me ages to get). All in all, I’d say watching Sliding Doors was a time well spent, even though the actual film did not entirely live up to its premise. Still, it has its moments here and there, and I especially took notice of John Hannah role in the movie, who I found quite absorbing both in terms of his performance and the character he portrayed. I’m still not sure what to make of Gwyneth Paltrow, though. I cannot remember to have been bothered by her acting per se, but it was her accent that really put me off. I’ve heard others didn’t have much of a problem with it, so I’m not exactly sure what to make of the matter. It’s best to decide for yourself, I guess. My biggest problem with Sliding Doors was its finale, which felt to me as if it was taken out of some overly melodramatic soap opera. The closing lines of the film also came off as pretty cheesy, though I did understand their necessity when looking at the big picture. So to sum it up, I really enjoyed Sliding Doors and its unconventional premise, but in the end one has to acknowledge that it’s little more than a slightly above average rom-com.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - 8/10
I recall seeing one or two of the Indiana Jones movies when I was little, but not much has stuck with me through the years, except of course the iconic titular character and Harrison Ford portraying him. I guess my wanting to get into the Indiana Jones series of films recently had to do with me finally coming around to play Uncharted, a video games which draws many similarities and owes a lot of its existence to Raiders of the Lost Ark, much like many other adventure fiction of that type, whether in cinema, television, video games, or otherwise. Needless to say, I was quite hyped to finally see Raiders of the Lost Ark ‘officially’ (I had seen parts of it over the years), but unfortunately the film turned out to be a mild let-down. I know that’s surprising to say about a movie regarded among the pantheon of the cinematic greats nowadays, yet there is no other way for me to put it. I was simply not taken with the action in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and that is quite a fault considering the film’s genre. I’d say it definitely has not aged well, becoming a bit too cheesy a movie by today’s standards – parts of it felt downright frivolous for my tastes. All that aside, though, one has to appreciate the power of storytelling at play in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and it’s quite clear why Indiana Jones has become such an iconic and beloved film character over the years: few films manage to spawn such memorable characters, and even fewer action and adventure films at that; not to mention that Harrison Ford played the part to perfection. I have a lot more to say about Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I plan on saving the rest for another day. I will no doubt give the film another go in the future, and perhaps then my mind will not be as obstructed by expectations and whatnot as it was the first time around. Until then, this is all I have to say.