Dan Naden

One to remember and one to forget…

Movie makers: Pay attention.

I would like to give you an example of what we want from our movie experience and what will cause us to corrode in front of the TV watching the next American Idol episode (Please save us from this latter activity!!)

I recently saw two movies: “Once” and “Mr. Brooks“.

“Once” told a truthful, believable story about a young Irishman who follows his passion for singing and playing the guitar. By day, he works in a vacuum store; by night, he grinds over his computer and guitar angling for that perfect blend of words and music. Surprisingly enough, his singing and playing talents are quite good. (Full disclosure: it turns out that the two lead musicians are full-time musicians, not actors, yet I really don’t think the acting suffers because of it.)

The best thing about “Once” is its genuineness; there’s nothing Hollywood about this picture. More like a musical than a movie, this picture follows Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova around scenic Dublin as they grow close to one another through the love of music. The music is sterling, and the ending caused many to grab for the Kleenex tissues as the credits rolled. Go see this film.

And now, Hollywood, here’s what not to do. Yes, I spent nearly $8.50 to see Mr. Brooks. To make matters worse, I saw this snoozer of a picture at the Alamo Drafthouse. Alamo Drafthouse is the best place to see a picture in America — hands down.

Mr. Brooks follows Kevin Costner playing ‘Man of the Year’, Mr. Earl Brooks. Brooks plays executive by day and mean, cold-blooded killer by night. The gruesome tale brings in Demi Moore with an average performance as the detective. Sure, Kevin Costner is fresh as the ‘villain’, yet Hollywood has revealed this plotline a number of times. (Killer plays fresh-faced exec by day and mean and dirty killer by night.) Yes, I am ashamed that I wasted by hard-earned money on this picture.
I usually trust the user-generated reviews on IMDB.com, yet I think the populace was way off-base with this one. Once moves me to run to Itunes.com to find the soundtrack whereas Mr. Brooks leaves me yearning for my money back.

Take your money to ‘Once’ and leave Mr. Brooks fishing through the couch for some coins.

Until next time,

Dan Naden
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