Archive for February, 2004

 Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

What a fun movie! With comparable dancing, an equally kick-ass soundtrack, and all of the cheese of the original Dirty Dancing, this was a very entertaining movie. It had a similar vibe, but wasn’t so identical as to feel formulaic. Patrick Swayze has a cameo in a couple of scenes, reprising his role as Johnny Castle, dance instructor to the rich and beautiful (although Swayze isn’t as beautiful as he once was). And newcomers Romola Garai and Diego Luna do an amazing job of fooling the audience into thinking they were child dance prodigies (neither had danced before this movie). If you are feeling nostalgic for the first one, go see this movie and have the time of your life all over again.


 The Passion of the Christ

It’s not the fact that I got sick to my stomach halfway through this movie and had to leave that leads me to not recommend it to others (although that might be a good enough reason for many to avoid it!). Rather, it is Mel Gibson’s artistic license that soured me. Perhaps it’s not fair for me to judge, having only seen half of the movie. But there are some really screwy things in the first half that didn’t make immediate sense to me, and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have even if I had stuck around. From Jesus’ bizarre encounter with a snake in the Garden of Gethsemane, to that weird baby-demon thing during the scourging scene — I’m left wondering if Gibson had access to some lost Gospel unknown to the rest of us. I guess I just can’t handle gory *and* weird. Pick one, Mel, but not both!


The only thing depressing about this movie is Kurt Russel’s wardrobe. This is definitely a feel-good movie, and we are in desperate need of some of those after enduring a spate of depressing films in recent months. Despite knowing how the story ends before seeing the movie, it was no less entertaining (much like Titanic). Kurt Russell is fantastic in his role, and does a very good job with the Minnesoooo-ta accent. Even though the cast is comprised mostly of unknowns (selected primarily for their hockey-playing skills), they all do an excellent job.