Name: Titanic
Year: 1997
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 194
Description: 84 years later, a 100-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter, Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th, 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater and her fiancĂ©, Caledon ‘Cal’ Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game. Rose explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage on April 15th, 1912 at 2:2 in the morning.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Billy Zane
Genres: Adventure, Drama, History, Romance

I was glad to have finally watched it so that I could join the club bashing the original soundtrack releases (and now loving the 20th anniversary CD). Very nice story, although I had some difficulties liking Rose and Jack in the beginning, but that changed a bit later. I loved the class clashes in the story and my only negative remark is that some of the dialogue sounds very artificial at times, as if the actors were bored to death, but then at other moments, it’s heartbreaking.

The score was exquisite. Horner had this gift of telling me everything with only a few notes. In The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, one piano chord sufficed and when A Building Panic started here, the approaching disaster needed no further illustration whatsoever. The romance music is extremely moving too: never has a piano touched me so deeply.


Life Is Beautiful

Name: Life Is Beautiful
Year: 1997
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 116
Description: In 1930s Italy, a carefree Jewish bookkeeper named Guido starts a fairy-tale life by courting and marrying a lovely woman from a nearby city. Guido and his wife have a son and live happily together until the occupation of Italy by German forces. In an attempt to hold his family together and help his son survive the horrors of a Jewish concentration camp, Guido imagines that the Holocaust is a game and that the grand prize for winning is a tank.
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini
Genres: Drama, Romance, War

During the first 20 minutes, I was considering turning it off because the rather stupid romance really wasn’t my thing at all. Also, I found Guido an incredibly annoying character and am still wondering why no one throughout the whole film asked him once to just shut up for one minute. The second half, however, was much better and of course deeply moving. I doubt I’ll ever watch it again and of course it only increased my disgust for the German language, as far as that was still possible… I also don’t understand why they had to dub this film in English and give the characters stupid Italian accents. If you’re not going to have them speak normal English, why not just subtitle the Italian version?

The score was rather interesting. The first half was quite repetitive, but the second half was better and, most surprisingly, the simple themes supplied all the emotion that was required.


Name: Bean
Year: 1997
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 90
Description: Bean works as a caretaker at Britain’s formidable Royal National Gallery and his bosses want to fire him because he sleeps at work all the time, but can’t because the chairman of the gallery’s board defends him. They send him to the USA, to a small Los Angeles art gallery instead, where he’ll have to officiate at the opening of the greatest US picture ever (called ‘Whistler’s Mother’).
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol and John Mills
Genres: Comedy, Family

My first Bean movie with audio description. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

The score was quite nice too: very good main themes and the music that plays when Bean is stealing the painting is absolutely FANTASTIC. I actually feel like playing the piano again now.


Name: Contact
Year: 1997
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 150
Description: Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin…
Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Skerritt
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The pros: Robert Zemeckis directing, Alan Silvestri composing and John Hurt. Only reason why I watched this. Score is good, but too short and reminds me extremely vividly of Forrest Gump.

The cons: JODIE FOSTER. There’s something in her voice that I really, really dislike. And her character was stupid too, or maybe she just made it stupid, or both, I dunno.

The questions:
1. What is the point of the entire ending? No, let’s jutt make it the entire film. Aliens want her to build an expensive machine and then supposedly don’t wanna tell her anything. So is the purpose to find out how much money mankind has? And why do they love teasing mankind for billions of years?
2. And where does John Hurt come in? Why would he have set the whole thing up? If he wanted to immortalise himself, why not do it himself? He had nothing to lose, he had cancer.
3. The film states that 95% of the world’s population believes in a higher power. Is that an exaggeration, my vaugely spiritual yet mostly non-religious mind wonders? Did we massively become heretics in 15 years?