For some reason or another, I seem to have a thing for Nazi movies. They could take place during World War II like Schindler’s List or they can be about neo-Nazis, as is the case with American History X. Or they could take on the premise of Apt Pupil where a former Nazi soldier tries to lead a normal life in the United States forty years later.
I remember watching this movie when it first came out eleven years ago, but when I came across it during some channel-surfing the other night, I couldn’t help but to sit down to watch it again. There’s just something about Ian McKellen playing a Nazi that is so much more powerful than anything Tom Cruise can do.
In a nutshell, McKellen’s character goes into graphic detail recounting his experiences as a Nazi soldier to a young boy played by Brad Renfro. He tells him about the horrors of the gas chambers, telling him how the Jewish prisoners were climbing on top of one another gasping for fresh air. It’s very powerful stuff.
We don’t get much in terms of graphic violence, but the storytelling is positively breathtaking. Seeing Ian McKellen march in a Nazi soldier’s uniform is worth the price of admission on its own. The film is far from perfect, but it’s well worth a rental.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
I will admit that I’ve never been much of a fan of this boy wizard. I never read any of the books and I only got around to watching the first movie before giving up on the series altogether.
Somewhat begrudgingly, I sat down to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, hoping that it would nullify my preconceptions. Well, I emerged after the 2.5-hour movie about as disappointed as I expected me to be. The action wasn’t enough to keep me captivated, it wasn’t nearly as “dark” as I had been told, and “shocking reveal” was far too predictable.
Our little boy wizard isn’t as innocent as he used to be, but his movies aren’t all that interesting either. All the Harry Potter fans in the audience can feel free to flame me now.
Year One (2009)
When I first saw the trailer to Year One, I thought I knew what to expect. I figured it was going to be another super silly outing by Jack Black, a movie that was going to be so bad that it was actually going to be pretty good. The assumption was that Year One would hold up against Be Kind Rewind. Well, it didn’t.
Instead of being funny in a stupid kind of way, Year One is just kind of stupid without being all that funny along the way. All of the best moments are shown during the trailer, like the part where Michael Cera’s character says that he only got a sword holder and no sword. The rest of the film is mindless drivel that is anything but entertaining.
Sadly, I was told not to waste my time with this movie. I should have listened.