by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
From the maker of WWJD: What Would Jesus Do comes the Dove Foundation award-winning Decision. Yes, it’s a Christian film, and a non-subtle, in-your-face one at that. That being said, I was visibly moved while watching it. Call it forced pathos, call it the Holy Spirit, call it issues I should deal with, but I was touched when teenager Jackson, bitter over the death of his firefighter father, moves into the country with his grizzled grandfather and is forced to face his demons when disaster strikes. Every week, I watch so many dark and depressive movies. It can wear on your psyche. That’s why I always enjoy it when these uplifting films of faith come along, providing me with at least 90 minutes of inspirational joy, recharging my batteries for The Human Centipede 3 or whatever affront to humanity I have to review next.
Full disclosure: I couldn’t finish Immortals. I tried — oh Zeus, did I try — but the 300-lite tale of warring gods and goddesses just bored me for what felt like an eternity, with director Tarsem going way overboard on the highly stylized green-screening sets and CGI-fight scenes that go nowhere. On the other hand, I watched it with a teenaged relative who absolutely loved it. Of course, he is obsessed with 300, Gladiator and the Spartacus TV series, going as far as to dress up as the characters and sword-fight alone in his backyard, but, hey, he was entertained and enthralled, completely obsessed with the fierce band of ragtag warriors taking on an insanely miscast Mickey Rourke as brutal king Hyperion, who is on a quest to find the powerful Epirus Bow that gives its user the power to wage war on Heaven.
I’ve never understood pop-culture’s obsession with Marilyn Monroe. Sorry, but if we’re talking classic starlets, I’d rather spend a week with Raquel Welch. She just seems more fun and, I don’t know … less addicted to painkillers. Still, we continue to idolize and beatify the blonde sex symbol, even going as far as to create fan-fiction to keep the cult going, as is the case with the interminable My Week With Marilyn. Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams wiggles into her best Halloween costume and dumbs her voice to a level feels more like an SNL skit than an Oscar-caliber performance. A wannabe filmmaker tags along and shares a brief crush with Monroe, who happens to be emotionally breaking down over her performance alongside Sir Laurence Olivier, who, let’s be honest, really had every right to be frustrated. As a matter of fact, the real movie should’ve been about Olivier, the consummate actor, having to dealing with the drugged-out, unprofessional antics of the overrated screen-siren.