Genius

A new review from The Movie Snob.

Genius  (B).  This movie isn’t doing too well with the critics (current score of 56 over at metacritic.com) but I think they are somehow overlooking the fact that Nicole Kidman (Dead Calm) is in the movie.  Just kidding!  Anyhoo, perhaps my low expectations led me to enjoy it more than I otherwise would have.  It’s a biopic about editor Max Perkins (Colin Firth, The King’s Speech) and novelist Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow).  Back around the year 1929, Wolfe was a manic would-be writer out of North Carolina with a married mistress (played by Kidman), and Perkins was a buttoned-down family man with five daughters.  The movie basically just tells the story of their sometimes-difficult relationship as Perkins shaped Wolfe’s thousands of pages into manageable novels that met mainstream and critical success.  Other authors that Perkins edited also pop up, like a washed-up F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce, Memento) and a macho Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West, 300).  And the always-welcome Laura Linney (Mr. Holmes) has a small part as Mrs. Perkins.  I thought it wasn’t a bad movie.  It may have helped that I had actually read one of Wolfe’s novels, Look Homeward, Angel; you can read my review here and see if it sounds like your cup of tea.

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300: A Second Opinion

From The Movie Snob

300 (B). Okay, I am no Comic Book Guy, so I did not go into this movie with any preconceived notions or particularly high expectations. Under those conditions, I enjoyed it. I found it hokey from start to finish, with the geysers of blood and the severed heads and hacked limbs cited by CBG in his review. The scene in the decadent throne room of the Persian king was a hoot. But even though I laughed at some parts that were probably not intended to be funny, it was also a good old tale of good vs. evil, freedom vs. tyranny, courage vs. cowardice. No big-name stars, but one of the leading Spartan warriors (David Wenham) played Faramir in two of the Lord of the Rings movies, and the guy who plays the unctuous Spartan politician (Dominic West) was in Chicago. A fun movie, as long as cartoonish carnage doesn’t bore you or gross you out.