Monday, October 11, 2010

Mad Movie Monday

I had the day off today because it is Indigenous Peoples Day (aka Columbus Day).  I started the day by scouting some locations for the short film I am producing Blossoms For Clara.  I found a great place for a music store scene and so I was really psyched.  Then, because I hadn't managed to get to the multiplex Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I decided to go see the documentary Waiting For Superman.  The film presents sobering news--our public schools our failing in America.  People have studied our schools so closely that they can identify which schools are simply drop-out factories, churning out ill-equipped young people who are more likely to go to jail than college.  The film does highlight bright spots in education reform such as Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone and the KIPP Academies which are working wonders in inner city communities.  The only drawback to these schools is that they don't have room for everyone, so the most heartbreaking portions of the film are watching children and their families going through the lotteries to get in.  The film only scratches the surface of the issues involved and is more of a call to action.  In fact, you can go to to give to a public school project of your choice.  The message is clear, we can't afford to have our children, urban or suburban, receiving a substandard education. 

After I regained my composure and wiped the tears from my eyes, I headed across town to another multiplex to see Let Me In,  going from broken public schools to a bullied 12-year-old boy and his vampire girlfriend.  If you didn't know already, Let Me In is the American remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In.  Personally, I enjoyed the Swedish film better.  It seemed more moody and dark.  Also, we use too much CGI in our movies and so the vampire's movements to me were more cartoonish than the original.  Other than that, the American version is a decent homage to the original.  But it still begs the question as to whether a remake was really necessary.  If you haven't seen either version yet, treat yourself to the original.

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