Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Life as a Mix-CD

Sometimes film reviewers shouldn’t be allowed to review certain films.

When it comes to genre films, especially comic book adaptations, film reviewers usually don’t get it. Negative reviews may stop some film snobs from seeking out good popcorn entertainment, but few fans are ever dissuaded from going to see a movie because a reviewer looked down upon it.

So here I am, about to write a short film review--- and about a movie that has nothing to do with comics--- but I hope I can persuade more people to get out and see it soon.

I saw "Elizabethtown" last night, with my wonderful wife Libby and daughter Jenny (soon to star in her own Flying Colors’ TV ad!). All of us in the Field family are fans of most Cameron Crowe movies. The theme of Crowe movies generally deal with battered idealists trying to make it in a cynical world. In "E-town", Orlando Bloom plays the lead as a newly battered cynic (and former yuppie idealist) finding his way back in the traditional and somewhat time-warped family surroundings of Kentucky. Kirsten Dunst is wonderful and sometimes goofy in her role as the muse to Orlando Bloom’s character. She is at first off-putting, then innocent and wise and alluring. But mostly, wise.

"E-town" is a very engaging and mostly quiet meditation on the values of love, life and family. As in previous Crowe films, his wife Nancy Wilson (of Heart rock 'n' roll fame) writes the score---and her guitar fills fit each scene in sweet and subtle ways. The soundtracks of Crowe films are essentially "mix-tapes" (now probably "mix-CDS" or iPod loads) of songs that play to the moods created by the story. In some cases, like with the use of Elton John’s "My Father’s Gun" in "E-town", the songs help fill in the story.

I'm sure "E-town" would have garnered rave reviews if music reviewers rather than film critics wrote about it because this is a movie for those who LOVE their music. If you’re the kind of person who regularly throws together Mix-CDs to set the tone for your day--- if you count your music-loaded iPod among your favorite friends--- if your rock 'n' roll CD collection is as large as your comics’ collection (give or take), then see "Elizabethtown". Cameron Crowe has done it again.

Lots of great stuff hits the comics' racks tomorrow, including the awaited second issue of Alex Ross’s JUSTICE.

Please come see us soon!

Joe
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