Name: Babel
Year: 2006
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 143
Description: 4 interlocking stories all connected by a single gun all converge at the end and reveal a complex and tragic story of the lives of humanity around the world and how we truly aren’t all that different. In Morocco, a troubled married couple are on vacation trying to work out their differences. Meanwhile, a Moroccan herder buys a rifle for his sons so they can keep the jackals away from his herd. A girl in Japan dealing with rejection, the death of her mother, the emotional distance of her father, her own self-consciousness, and a disability among many other issues, deals with modern life in the enormous metropolis of Tokyo, Japan. Then, on the opposite side of the world the married couple’s Mexican nanny takes the couple’s 2 children with her to her son’s wedding in Mexico, only to come into trouble on the return trip.
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal
Genres: Drama

Very, very moving indeed. The score only became interesting after two hours, other than that loads of missed opportunities. The people involved in the audio description must have been shattered too. I think it would be hard to find a film that needed/contained more explanations than this one.

The Da Vinci Code

Name: The Da Vinci Code
Year: 2006
Rating: PG-13
Running Time (minutes): 149
Description: A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years — which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
Stars: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

A few random observations:
– Haven’t watched this in 10 years and enjoyed it so much more this time.
– Silas is such a tragic character and I couldn’t even blame him for anything in the end.
– Hans Zimmer’s score is great. I wonder whether anyone has ever determined what all the themes stand for.
– Audrey’s French acent is annoying.
– Ian McKellen’s Oxford English is DELICIOUS. So unfortunate he had to be the bad guy.
– How does Teabing grab all these books so fast (isn’t he supposed to have severe walking difficulties?) and why is he so well-prepared to give anyone a crash course in Grail history? Amazing teaching capabilities there.

Notes On A Scandal

Name: Notes On A Scandal
Year: 2006
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 92
Description: Bitter, cynical and lonely Barbara Covett is a tough and conservative teacher near to retirement that is loathed by her colleagues and students. In the loneliness of her apartment, she spends her spare time writing her journal, taking care of her old cat Portia and missing her special friend Jennifer Dodd. When Sheba Hart joins the high-school as the new art teacher, Barbara dedicates her attention to the newcomer, writing sharp and unpleasant comments about her behavior and clothes. When Barbara helps Sheba in a difficult situation with two students, the grateful Sheba invites her to have lunch with her family. Sheba introduces her husband and former professor Richard Hart, who is about twenty years older than she; her rebellious teenager daughter Polly; and her son Ben that has Down’s Syndrome. Barbara becomes close to Sheba, but when she accidentally discovers that Sheba is having an affair with the fifteen year-old student Steven Connolly…
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench and Andrew Simpson
Genres: Drama, Thriller

It was eitehr that one or the Green Zone, but apparently this one was better. And how captivating it was too… I really don’t understand what he fuss is all about, it’s not a bad story, but other than that… Incidentally, Judi Dench has such an unattractive voice.

As for the score, I suspected I wouldn’t like it and was not disappointed by this lame Philip Glass effort. Overscored, too much focus on the dramatic part and not on the romance, repetitive… Bad.

Night at the Museum

Name: Night At The Museum
Year: 2006
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 108
Description: In New York, unemployed and divorced Larry Daley is a complete loser. His son Nick is very disappointed with his father who is going to be evicted. Larry accepts the job of night watchman in the Museum of Natural History and takes the place of three old security guards that have just retired in order to raise some money and pay his bills. On his first shift, Larry soon realizes that everything at the museum is not as it seems as the statues begin to come to life after the sun sets. The Museum transforms into complete chaos with the inexperienced Larry in charge as he learns that an old Egyptian stone that came to the Museum in 1950 brings these statues to life until dawn. When Larry brings his son to spend a night with him, the three old guards break into the Museum to try to steal the magical stone. Larry organizes all the historic characters to help him stop the criminals and save the museum.
Stars: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino and Ricky Gervais
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Great film, except the ‘you rock’ part. FANTASTIC SCORE! This is what Fantastic Beasts should sound like (and sounded like, for that matter).

Inside Man

Name: Inside Man
Year: 2006
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 129
Description: From a cell, a man tells us he has planned the perfect bank robbery; he invites us to watch. An efficient gang enters a Manhattan bank, locks the doors, and takes hostages. They work deliberately, without haste. Detective Frazier is assigned to negotiate, but half his mind is occupied with the corruption charges he is facing. The bank’s president has something to protect in a safe deposit box, so he brings in Madaline, a high-power broker with a hidden agenda. With an army of police surrounding the bank, the thief, the cop, and the plutocrat’s fixer enter high-stakes negotiations. Why are the robbers asking for a plane, if they are so competent and they know they won’t get one? Why aren’t they in more of a hurry? If the job’s perfect, why is the thieves’ leader in a cell?
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

I hate Denzel Washington’s stupid accent. Jodie Foster’s character was absolutely horrible (as in a terrible woman and a terribly badly-written character). The score seemed out-of-place: the music itself was very good, but it seemed too much for the material it was serving. All the cops are stupid. Clive Owen was good. The plot was all right.

Blood Diamond

Name: Blood Diamond
Year: 2006
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 143
Description: A story following Archer, a man tortured by his roots. With a strong survival instinct, he has made himself a key player in the business of conflict diamonds. Political unrest is rampant in Sierra Leone as people fight tooth for tooth. Upon meeting Solomon, and the beautiful Maddy, Archer’s life changes forever as he is given a chance to make peace with the war around him.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Thriller

I just watched Blood Diamond, huh? Rather boring in the beginning, but as it progressed, I started liking it more and more, huh? Didn’t like the kid, though, huh? Ending was very sad, and even though I’m a supporter of ‘film score should illustrate location of the images’, I wish they would stop putting wailing female solos containing African lyrics during dramatic passages, huh? I don’t like those, huh? The score is mostly uneventful too, huh, but DiCaprio succeeds better in impersonating an African accent than a British one (Great Ghatsby), huh?

Happy Feet

Name: Happy Feet
Year: 2006
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 108
Description: This is the story of a little penguin named Mumble who has a terrible singing voice and later discovers he has no Heartsong. However, Mumble has an astute talent for something that none of the penguins had ever seen before: tap dancing. Though Mumble’s mom, Norma Jean, thinks this little habit is cute, his dad, Memphis, says it “just ain’t penguin.” Besides, they both know that, without a Heartsong, Mumble may never find true love. As fate would have it, his one friend, Gloria, happens to be the best singer around. Mumble and Gloria have a connection from the moment they hatch, but she struggles with his strange “hippity- hoppity” ways. Mumble is just too different–especially for Noah the Elder, the stern leader of Emperor Land, who ultimately casts him out of the community. Away from home for the first time, Mumble meets a posse of decidedly un-Emperor-like penguins–the Adelie Amigos…
Stars: Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy and Hugh Jackman
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Gorgeous score by John Powell! Obviously a children’s story, but okay all the same. Watched the Flemish version twelve years ago and was surprised how badly some of the translations were after listening to the English version. The audio describer had a cute little accent too.