Monday, January 28, 2013

Movie Review - An Inconvenient Truth and War Horse

An Inconvenient Truth - (2006) - This is a documentary about things like Global Warming and mankind's impact on the environment.  It's also a documentary about Al Gore.  The one is really important.  I'm not so sure about the other.

The movie is based on the book and related public presentations that the former Senator and Vice President has been doing in the years following his failed run at the White House.  The Gore we see here is relaxed and easy going and all the things he tended NOT to be during that campaign.  So it's inevitable that we're going to see a lot of Al during the movie.

The problem is that I was not ever really convinced that the two stories really meld into one convincing narrative.  I kept getting this nagging feeling of "Geez, more Gore?  Why?" as I watched the movie.  It wasn't that it was badly done, it wasn't (the movie won 2 Oscars - Best Documentary and Best Original Song plus grossed 50 million dollars world wide.  It's a fine movie) but it kept feeling like the Gore story got in the way of the other story.  The one bit that I thought was utterly compelling was Gore talking about his father's rejection of tobacco farming after the elder Albert's daughter died of lung cancer.

In the end you get a fascinating discussion of what's happening on Planet Earth and what isn't.  Anyone interested in the discussion should see this movie.

Rating - **** Recommended.

War Horse (2011) - This is the story of a boy and his horse.  Based on a children's book from the early '80s the story is pretty predictable.  If you're surprised by anything, including the ending, then you haven't seen many movies.  Having said that "War Horse" is a well made movie that will draw you in.  There is one sequence that folks who love animals will find uncomfortable but the rest is almost a Disney film.  The acting is wonderful, great story, Spielberg direction, visually gorgeous.  Add in the fact that the horse that did the primary "acting" was also the star of my one of my other favorite horse movies "Seabiscuit".  And it will leave you with at least a lump in your throat if not a tear in your eye.

Rating **** Recommended

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