Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A couple of notes on Sideways, which I watched Saturday night:

  1. I have rarely gone into a movie with such starkly contrasting word-of-mouth-based expectations. I had read nothing about the movie, and had heard from two people who had seen it: one said 4 stars, the other walked out an hour in out of boredom.
  2. I leaned much more toward the former, though I will admit to enjoying the second hour more.
  3. I defend the scene that induced the walkout (the Madsen and Giamatti characters describing why they like the particular wines they like) on the basis that it's a rare moment in an American movie where two characters make a love connection on a purely intellectual level.
  4. It's good to see Thomas Haden Church is out of witness protection. He shows incredible range, playing a washed-up TV actor. It's at least as impressive as Giamatti playing a balding guy.
  5. There is some fantastic physical comedy in that second half--most notably the scene at the cheesy winery and the scene where Church goes back for his wallet. I'll say no more.
  6. Best use of a motorcycle helmet. Ever.
  7. If I sit in the front row of the top section of the State Theater--the row with double the legroom of any other row--I can almost get through a two-hour movie pain-free. Almost.
  8. Yes, I'm absolutely stalling vis-a-vis Contracts outlining, and thank you for asking.

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