J. & C.'s Movie Reviews

Our Notes on Movies Made Public

Archive for March, 2009

Bringing Up Baby

Posted by J on March 25, 2009

This is probably the classic screwball comedy.  It is perfect for a bad day, a recession, or whatever else might dampen 215px-bub1938 your mood.  Admittedly you have to be able to enjoy 1930s-1940s acting, writing, humor, etc., but once you clear that hurdle this movie is, like we said, perfect.

Entertainment: 10

Intelligence: 8

Morality: 9-10

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Posted in Comedy, Great | Leave a Comment »

Flash of Genius

Posted by J on March 21, 2009

In this movie, Greg Kinnear plays the guy who invented intermittent windshield wipers and wound up spending the200px-flash_of_genius_post rest of his life in legal imbroglios.  A subject this dull needs spicing up, so Hollywood adds an ‘f’ word and personal tension to every minute of every character relationship.  Voila, Entertainment!

To be fair, this movie isn’t as bad as you would think, assuming your expectations are rock bottom like ours were.  Kinnear’s character, an electrical engineering professor, invents his wipers only to have the Ford Motor Company “rip off” his design for windshield wipers.  Outside of a couple of family scenes, the movie is a watered-down ideological primer on the subject of intellectual property.  With Hollywood having recent billion-dollar issues related to “piracy” and such, the movie comes down firmly on the side of a man’s (i.e., gargantuan multinational corporation’s) right to have the government grant him monopoly rights to his own ideas, however terrible they are.

From a legal perspective, Kinnear’s character may have a case, though the movie is far from true to the actual history of the intermittent windshield wiper problem.  From a Biblical perspective, it seems difficult to us to justify such as thing as “intellectual property.”  An idea is not a tangible good.  And who is to say exactly when an idea has been “stolen”?  Ultimately, the government.  This privilege only further empowers the most massive government in world history (Pharoah and Caesar look upon it in awe).

But we digress.  The Ford Motor Company is the bad guy, the face of which is a mysterious character who keeps showing up and tempting Kinnear with loads of money.  Kinnear, an idealist, rejects this temptation every time by appealing to an abstract notion of Truth and Justice.  While he is supposed to be the hero, Kinnear (a Roman Catholic) alienates his wife and eventually divorces her in pursuit of Justice.  It would probably not be wrong to say an ideal became his mistress.  This is not the lesson the movie tries to teach, but it’s there anyway.

Entertainment: 6

Intelligence: 3

Morality: 3

Posted in Okay, But We Won't Watch It Again | Leave a Comment »