Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"You're dumber than you think I think you are."

I spent last weekend in our nation's capital and had a great time with old friends. The only movie I managed to watch was Star Trek...again. However, in the past week, I finally got around to watching Unstoppable and Chinatown. The latter of which I got from Netflix and has been sitting in my room for over a month. The problem with summer is that I do not want to sit inside and watch movies, but rather sit outside and read.

But I digress....

Unstoppable came out last year and was really, really good. I am not quite sure why it did not do well in theaters, but it was extremely entertaining. Denzel Washington plays a veteran railroad engineer named Frank who has to train a newly hired conductor, Will, played by Chris Pine. They learn that a runaway train is headed towards Will's hometown carrying toxic chemicals so they try to stop it from causing any destruction. It is based on a real incident which happened in Ohio in 2001.

I enjoyed it because it was a simple straight forward action movie. You got a little background information on the two main characters, but the film did not dwell on their private lives and there are no unnecessary scenes. At no point are you going to be surprised by what happens and there are no crazy stunts, but that does not change the fact that it is a really fun movie to watch.

From this high-energy action film, I then went to more subtle crime drama.

Chinatown was made in 1974, stars Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway and was directed by Roman Polanski. It is about a private investigator in Los Angeles who is hired to investigate a cheating husband and ends up discovering a murder and a plot to divert water away from the city.

It was definitely interesting and worth seeing, it just reiterates the fact that I prefer newer movies to the old classics. The pace of the movie was just too slow for me and I felt that it ended very abruptly. I suppose it also did not help that the plot was very similar to the plot of Rango, so I had it pretty well figured out early on. One upside is that I now know the context of the line, "She's my sister! She's my daughter! My sister! My daughter!" Which is really the main reason I watch old movies. I thought it was good, I just did not love it.

While very different movies, I definitely think they are both worth seeing. I personally preferred Unstoppable, but if you like "film noir" then Chinatown is the one for you.