Monday, February 19, 2007

Seen this weekend

I watched three vids this weekend, the superb "Lewis Black: Black on Broadway," the intriguing "Beowulf and Grendel," and the surprising "Never Cry Wolf."

I call the last one surprising because neither my wife nor I remembered putting it in the queue. That was virtually last surprising thing about it, well, that and the male nudity that the Disney folks put on the screen in 1983. It was also a bit curious to see Disney actually putting out an unabashedly environmental movie, but then that is less surprising than it is a commentary on the manipulative right-wing politics that Disney has made a franchise feature over the past two decades. 2 stars out of 5

Beowulf and Grendal was interesting for its investigation of the creation of the saga as well for the stunning beauty of the landscape (Iceland) and refreshingly frank dialogue. It suffered a bit for not having subtitles (I like using them even when the movie is in my native tongue) particularly since the diction and words were anything but ordinary. The inherent violence was tastefully done and it managed to avoid lapsing into Monty Python despite some very comic scenes. 4 stars out of 5

If you have not seen Lewis Black on Comedy Central's Daily Show, then you really are missing something. Make up for lost time by renting his incredible performance in Black on Broadway. Never have I found a comic so trenchant, mordant and spot on. Again, his use of language is a refreshing change from the palaver of the thought police. Even though his performance is from five years ago it seems fresh and timely today (particularly if you live in the Front Range). Run, don't walk, to find out what all the noise is about. 5 out of 5