Friday, July 9, 2010

Early Summer Movie Review: Winter's Bone

I've been able to get away to the movies a bit over the past month or so, but what I have noticed is that almost all of my movie theater watching involves bringing my boys (and sometimes a friend of theirs). I think I realized how many kids' movies I have seen recently because I have seen the same absolutely horrible trailer for a movie called Alpha & Omega enough times to want to make a rug out of cartoon wolf hide. Do not see that movie no matter how much your child begs. I'm telling you, you will hate yourself and your kid if you do it.

With this wealth of viewing I will be able to help you sift through all of the (kids) movies out there. First up, Winter's Bone. Ok, this is not a kid movie. Unless you want your kid to see squirrel skinning, drug use, teen pregnancy, teen's getting bloodied and dismemberment of a dead parent's hands. Winter's Bone was the big winner at Sundance. It stars absolutely nobody you have heard of and takes place in, obviously, the winter. The movie takes place in the poorest part of methamphetimine laden Missouri. It is the type of place I wouldn't even think exists. It certainly doesn't in the land of rainbows and lollipops that enchant my mind. Would these people even know a movie like Grown Ups even exists. I can't imagine they would laugh at anything ever, much less Rob Schneider acting like a buffoon. (Editors note: I have not, nor will I be seeing Grown Ups. I know, movie snob.)

The one paragraph plot summary is a teen girl is raising her young siblings because dad is missing and mom is a vegetable. Their shack and land is about to be taken by a bond company because while dad was missing, he was arrested and placed all of it as collateral for the bond. Now he skipped the court date. Teen girl sets out amongst the bad people dad hangs around to try to find him and make him go to court. Guess what. She's in for some trouble.

Winter's Bone is a well done movie that you will think about long after you leave the theater. This is a good movie to debate why one even goes to the movies. I know that I love movies for a variety of reasons. I like to visit a different world. I like my emotions to be pulled, whether it is joy, fear, compassion, sorrow or inspiration. On the one hand, this movie definitely has stuck with me and it definitely made me feel. So good movie, right? The problem is that the overpowering emotion I felt was depression after watching this. I didn't cry during the movie, but I felt like a huge wave of horrible crash down on me.

The other reason to watch a movie is to be entertained. I'm not sure if I was entertained. There is certainly a somewhat slow movie story here, but there was never a moment of being uplifted. Just sorrow, desperation and misery. I think a good movie to me is one that, in the end, I was entertained by. That's not saying that this movie wasn't put together better, acted better, had a better story and was more meaningful than something like Iron Man 2, but I wasn't as entertained. I guess in a way, this movie was so good it was even able to tell me something about myself. That my movie enjoyment is shallow. Maybe I'm not a movie snob afterall. Nah, I'm still not seeing Grown Ups. I'm going to give this movie two severed hands (out of five). Those with more distinquished movie tastes may like it better.

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