Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We have oodles of ways of watching movies these days: the theater, renting from a video store, borrowing from the library, watching OnDemand ... the list goes on.

It seems that one not-very-good method -- for me, anyway -- is recording a movie on the DVR. It makes sure that I'll have it until I'm ready to watch, rather than running the risk of missing it OnDemand.

But it sure doesn't incentivize me to watch it very quickly. I recorded August Rush, a movie I'm reviewing, off of Cinemax way back on May 25th. I only just watched it last night.

Part of that delay certainly has to do with the fact that it's summer, and there isn't much other programming cramping the space on our DVR. Then there's also the fact that the DVR recording forces me to watch it on our living room TV, and my wife (rightly) had no interest in sitting through it with me.

But maybe I just wanted to wait until August, giving the title an extra appropriateness. I guess that means I'll have to wait another year to watch my DVR recording of Pride of the Yankees. After all, Lou Gehrig's famous "luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech came on July 4th. (Or it could just be that I can't summon the motivation to see a movie about my most hated team in sports).

A couple thoughts on August Rush, which was directed by Jim Sheridan's daughter, Kirsten:

1) One of the initial reasons I requested this movie was because I thought it had one of the weirdest casts I'd ever seen assembled. The five best-known actors in it are Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Robin Williams, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Terrence Howard. Ran-dom. I'm even having trouble deciding which two of those actors would be most likely to appear in a movie together.

2) I'm not quite sure if I understand why the basic structure of Oliver Twist continues to interest people so much. Highmore plays the Oliver character here, and Robin Williams is Fagan. Yawn.

3) Although I found the film mostly twee and precious, I did enjoy some of the sequences involving how young Evan perceives symphonies of music in everyday street sounds.

4) I noticed that whoever writes the informational blurbs for Time Warner Cable had the same internal fight about whether this movie was good or not that I discussed here. The first thing they show you after listing the two top-billed cast members is the star rating. August Rush received two -- out of four or five, I'm not sure. But then it was followed by this rather breathless synopsis: "Wonderfully rewarding urban fairy tale about a 12-year-old prodigy
(the marvelous Freddie Highmore) who heads to New York City to find and reunite with the musician parents who abandoned him as a baby." Call me crazy, but if you have only 33 words for the synopsis, and someone else says the movie sucks by way of giving it two stars, you should probably skip such rhapsodic sentiments as "wonderfully rewarding" and "marvelous" and just stick to summarizing the plot.

My site also gives it two stars. I'll probably give it a two-and-a-half star review.


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