It’s one of those strange coincidences that led me to watch this movie. I was flipping through the channels on television when I came across The Ramen Girl.
Normally, I’d keep flipping, but then I noticed that Brittany Murphy was in it and, as you may already know, she recently passed away at the young age of 32. I was also looking forward to a good bowl of ramen the next day. I guess the stars were aligning that day.
Naturally, I didn’t have the highest of expectations for this 2008 film, since I didn’t even know of its existence until I stumbled across it during my channel surfing journeys. In a nutshell an American girl (Murphy) follows her boyfriend to Japan, only to be abandoned in a land where she does not know the language. She finds herself at a local ramen shop and becomes enamored with the culture, yearning to give people happiness the same way that the ramen chef does.
Overcoming language and personality deficiencies, the Ramen Girl makes friends, finds her way, and lives happily ever after. It’s far from the most complex or compelling of tales, but it’s one that will put a small smile on your face.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Since the Avatar IMAX 3D experience was sold out, I found myself watching Sherlock Holmes instead a couple of weeks back. I can’t say that I was disappointed, since Robert Downey Jr. plays the title role and he did a fantastic job in both Iron Man and Tropic Thunder.
If you’re looking for a film that is true to the originals from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you’ll likely be a little disappointed. If you’re looking for a slightly fresher take on the Sherlock Holmes franchise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Downey’s take on the legendary gumshoe.
My favorite part of the movie is when they make use of the “pre-enactments,” walking us through the thought and analytical process of Sherlock Holmes before he goes through the motions. For instance, he participates in a pit fight with a much larger man, and then he calculates exactly which attacks and in which order would be the most effective and why. We see this in slow motion, narrated by his thoughts, and then we see the action in real-time. Fantastic.
I don’t expect to see much from the award shows for this movie and it will largely be forgotten in the years to come, but Sherlock Holmes is a pleasant distraction with enough action to keep you entertained for its just over two hour running time.