June 07, 2004

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Movie Review: Cold Mountain

I have returned from my various travels slightly jet-lagged. It appears I didn't miss much: Ronnie Reagan is dead, 80,000 Hong Kongers remembered Tiananmen Square, 60 years since D-day etc. Far more importantly Jim lost his job, proving management at his company have no idea of what talent, nay genius, looks like. I hearby dedicate the following entry to Jim:

A downside of travel is you spend large amounts of time in an aluminium cigar being propelled forward in a desperate attempt to avoid falling out of the sky. To take one's mind off this attempt to beat Newton's laws of gravit they supply a parade of movies which in my case included the epic Cold Mountain, which took almost as long as the American Civil War itself.

The plot is simple: hick Confederate town (the appropriately named Cold Mountain) gets preacher with hot viriginal chick (Nicole Kidman in Southern Belle mode). Chick spies matinee idol but almost mute Jude Law and immediately fancies him ina suppressed kind of way. In the 1860s version of love at first sight they manage a 3 second pash-and-grope moments before Law is called away to fight the damn Yankees. Jude endures the horrors of war, especially the incompetence of his own side and some terrible dialogue. Meantime Nicky Kidman's old man kicks the bucket - that's what clear country air does to a man from the city. Now she's in charge of a farm but she has no clue until pouty Renee Zellweger turns up in her Oscar winning role. She's the tomboy farmer girl with the no-good daddy who can drag Kidman into the 1860s with some good old fashioned elbow grease and pouting. The next hour drags along as Jude Law deserts his mates in the trenches because he realises he wants to f*ck Kidman (and let's face it, who can blame him). Kidman has kept herself pure, "knowing" that Jude's coming back for her, despite the attentions of the local leery sheriff. Someone dies, Jude meets a crazy old woman, the bad men shoot some good ones and some more sh!t happens before the climatic meeting of Kidman and Law. Happiness ensues for 60 seconds before more people and shot and the whole thing is mercifully over.

The characterisation was thin. The direction had as much lead as the bullets those damn Yankees fired at those southern half-wits. The whole film reeked of begging for Oscars with its "epic scale" and "devotion to detail". That said, they overlooked a stereotype: there were no money-hungry Jews. Otherwise they got them all. The predictable story line and uninteresting sub-plots all help to steal away 3 hours of your life that you can never get back. Damn you, Oprah Winfrey, and your book of the month. If the original book was half as bad as the movie then I shed a tear for all those poor trees. At least bark is vaguely interesting to look at.

No, I didn't enjoy it.

posted by Simon on 06.07.04 at 02:48 PM in the


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Tracked: June 10, 2004 08:38 PM


Wow, a long distance dedication. I feel like I was just mentioned on Casey Casem's American Top 40. Except that it would be Simon's Hong Kongian Top 40, of course.

posted by: Jim on 06.07.04 at 06:30 PM [permalink]

We're showing Cold Mountain this week, and I almost went to see it on my day off. Thankfully, I took a nap instead...

posted by: Susie on 06.08.04 at 04:09 AM [permalink]

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