Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Recent movies - Ratatouille, Rescue Dawn

Ratatouille (2007) - I read Nobody's insightful review before finally getting around to this one, so with those ideas in mind, I enjoyed it. It's not as outright entertaining as The Incredibles, but it's a good story. I probably won't buy it, though.

Rescue Dawn (2007) - Very engaging. Well told. Unfortunately, it appears that Herzog played fast and loose with some of the facts. Some of the changes are fine and understandable, but changing Jeremy Davies character (who was apparently a fine guy in real life) into a crazy coward is not cool. I want to check out Herzog's documentary on the subject now, to see if the differences were noted there. He does mention, in one of the featurettes on Rescue Dawn, that he found out after filming that Gene was a better man than they thought, and that Herzog would have changed it had he known. So at least he honestly acknowledges that Gene's family strongly disagrees with his take.

One other annoyance: the way Davies plays Gene, a generic "crazy nervous guy" performance. It felt predictable and lazy. I don't think Davies is a bad actor, but I think he chose a "go-to" performance for Gene. It annoyed me any time he was on-screen.

1 comment:

jeri said...

I liked Rescue Dawn, although sometimes felt detached from its characters (except Zahn). The situation was what made the impact, rather than Dietrich himself, about whom we didn't get to learn a lot. I ended up feeling like just an observer the majority of the time, but by the end, the journey itself hit my emotions, and even the slightly cliche ending (freeze frame) made me choke up a bit.

Amy mentioned you two watched this, which made me remember that I needed to watch Little Dieter Needs to Fly, so I started it yesterday. You learn a lot more about his personality in that one. It's interesting. I like Herzog's presence in his own documentaries.

I did read online about the controversy over Gene. I think the phrase "inspired by true events" warrants changes in the story. Herzog was trying to make it a more interesting dramatic movie. Obviously, if I were part of Gene's family, I would be upset, but since this was a more fictionalized and exaggerated telling of the story, I have no real problem with Herzog exercising dramatic license.