New DVD reviews from The Movie Snob:
Before Sunrise (B). I saw Before Sunset, the sequel to this movie, in the theaters without ever having seen the original. I finally rectified that this past weekend, not that there was a whole lot of back-story to catch up on. Two young twentysomethings, an American named Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and a Frenchwoman named Celine (Julie Delpy), meet on a train that is about to pull into Vienna. He is catching a flight home to the USA first thing in the morning, and she is supposed to go on to Paris. But he convinces her to jump off the train and spend the evening and night roaming around Vienna with him. They ride the Ferris wheel, go to some clubs, and have lots of earnest twentysomething-type conversations about life, the universe, and everything. Oh, and maybe they fall in love too. This movie is not for the shoot-em-up crowd (sorry, Nick at Nite), but if you enjoy nostalgic trips back to your days of youth (hello That Guy Named David), this is the movie for you.
*** SPOILER ALERT *** SPOILER ALERT ***
Before Sunset (B-). After watching Before Sunrise, I went back and watched Before Sunset again. Nine years have passed since Jesse and Celine met on that train to Vienna, and we all wonder whether they kept their promise to meet again in Vienna six months later. In the sequel, we find out pretty quickly that he showed up, but she didn’t. But now Jesse is a best-selling author visiting Paris on a book tour (promoting a novel that is a thinly fictionalized account of that night in Vienna), and he nearly has a heart attack when Celine shows up at a book-signing event. His flight back to America leaves in only a few hours, and the movie is shot pretty much in real-time, following them around as they catch up with each other, discuss why she didn’t show up, and not-so-subtly try to figure out if the magic is still there. Nine years on, they have both been bruised a little by life, maybe a little too much considering they’re only about 32. After this second viewing, I decided that the sequel was not as convincing as the first one, but still not a bad movie.