Inside Job (2010)
Grade: B+ | 1st Viewing
Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story focused more on the human toll of the economic crisis, focusing on individual stories of hardship. Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job used a more holistic approach with emphasis on the econometric and statistical reasons for the downturn. Both are nicely assembled documentaries by two filmmakers who know how to ask tough questions (Ferguson less cartoonish and therefore more effective). However, the Economics Major in me was more intrigued and intellectually stimulated by Inside Job.
It was truly fascinating how he was able to get access to some of the very people who contributed to the crumbling of the American economy. With his wealth of knowledge and research Ferguson is able to ask probing and interesting questions and the audience gets to watch as the men get defensive, yet continue. Sometimes I wish Ferguson would have gone even further, but for the most part his (and our) questions were answered. The movie is also successful (unfortunately) in making one feel utterly helpless in the running of the U.S. government. The men in power have too much money and too many friends to be going anywhere soon. It is a very scary truth.
A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
Grade: A- | 1st Viewing
I finally got around to watching this movie which has been on my Netflix queue for years and I’m glad I did. This film ties in nicely with the discussion of comedy that we had on this week’s podcast. John Cleese is the undeniable standout in a film that also includes the likes of Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Michael Palin. Cleese offers a master class in comic re-acting with some of the most sincere and honest facial expressions that tell more than any line of dialogue could. This is particularly noticeable in the first office scene he has with Jamie Lee Curtis and even more so in the confrontation with Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Cleese’s wife at his home.
The film also offers some nice commentary on comedy itself and the uptight nature of Brits as it differs from Americans. In the end, however, we’re all the same with comparable neuroses and fears. The situational comedy with Michael Palin also continues to make me smile.
What movies did you watch this week?