Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jason watches "The Good Shepherd"

And it was pretty good. The biggest complaint I could give it is that it's too long (2 hours, 47 minutes). But it actually fills that time well. I checked my watch only once, and noted that at about the halfway point it already felt like a full movie. The second biggest complaint I could give is that it occasionally felt like it was kicking the CIA while it was down. It's nearly impossible to go into the theater without thinking of recent CIA failures, and then the movie frames the birth of the CIA agains the Bay of Pigs disaster, making a few points about how it got to that point (DeNiro's differentiation of "America's eyes and ears" vs. "it's heart and soul" is fairly succinct), but mostly mocking it as a grown up version of Skull and Bones. And a third complaint would be that Matt Damon's character isn't likeable enough. Or, more to the point, he doesn't stay likeable enough for very long. Which is really the point of the movie. If by the end you forgot the opening with Matt Damon in drag singing "I'm Called Little Buttercup" in a Yale production of "H.M.S. Pinafore", well, you'll be either reminded or confused by the musical callback, and you'll be forgiven because it was almost 3 hours ago and his character is almost unrecognizable as the young Yale poetry student from 20 years earlier.

Anyway, this means I've now seen everything nominated for the Oscar for Best Art Direction. Also Best Cinematography and Best Song. So I'll be writing about those categories shortly.

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