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Movies for a mad, mad world

A mix of movie reviews from last weeks screening, in mommydrinks brooklyn hideaway. Um, except Avatar which was viewed big screen in the theater, with special glasses.

TEMPEST (1982)

An American comedy-drama directed by Paul Mazursky. It's a loose adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, The Tempest. Staring John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Susan Sarandon and Molly Ringwald in her debut feature film.

It's fun to see Molly when she was cute and young. Susan is sexy as ever. Raul Julia has a small and creepy role. But I never quite feel any kind of sympathy for Philip (played by John Cassavetes). I don't get his "enlightenment". But the island of Kalibanos is gorgeous, and I'm aching for some sun

Vincent Canby (The New York Times),gave it an all out scathing review, which I don't argue with too severely… "Tempest is an overblown, farcified freak of a film. Experiencing it is like watching a 10-ton canary as it attempts to become airborne. It lumbers up and down the runway tirelessly, but never once succeeds in getting both feet off the ground at the same time. The spectacle is amusing in isolated moments but, finally, exhausting."

my rating: ** (2 stars)

AVATAR, 3D,(2009)

A science fiction epic written and directed by James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang.

Wow, and incredible piece of work. SO real. So beautiful. And in 3D! Quite imaginative, and absorbing.

Avatar's has so many social and political themes running through it. Villainous American characters representing militarism, capitalism... The "profound show of resistance to capitalism and the struggle for the defense of nature" [ Evo Morales ]. "If you can get a theater full of people in Kentucky to stand and applaud the defeat of their country in war, then you've got some amazing special effects." [ Russell D. Moore ]

I mean really, there you are rooting for the "opposite" side. But really, it's not about "Americans", or "our kind" against them. It's about corruption, power hungry corporations against nature. Evil vs. Good. It's about global warming, and machine vs. nature.

Enough said. I loved it. I even shed a tear. Do not laugh.

My rating: **** (4 stars)

DISTRICT 9, (2009)

Ok, I thought my husband was crazy for bringing this home. First 15 minutes I was grossed out, and disgusted. Who are these nasty bug like aliens? I asked myself, and glared at him. Yuk! But then something happened... My feelings suddenly, quite suddenly changed. I was struck with how I went from one moment not be able to empathize with them, to completely empathizing with them.. rooting for them, and disgusted with the nature of "our kind".

District 9 is a science fiction thriller film directed by Neill Blomkamp, written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell; and produced by Peter Jackson. The film stars Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope and David James. Copley plays the role of Wikus Van De Merwe, an Afrikaner bureaucrat assigned to relocate a race of extraterrestrial creatures, derogatorily referred to as "prawns", from District 9, a military-guarded slum in Johannesburg, South Africa, to an internment camp outside the city.

District 9 is was inspired by historical events that took place in South Africa during the apartheid era, with the film's title particularly referencing District Six. District Six, an inner-city residential area in Cape Town, was declared a "whites only" area by the government in 1966, with 60,000 people forcibly removed and relocated to Cape Flats, 15 miles away.

Heart Wrenching and absolutely devastating. And yet, entertaining. Brilliant.

My rating: **** (4 stars)