Two on the aisle, please...

My wife Valarie and I were decadent beyond compare this weekend and actually got out to see two movies at the theater. Val had some dicey deadlines to dance around, but she made it work.

On Friday night we saw The Prestige, which apparently was the most profitable movie playing this weekend by just a whisker. Val enjoyed it and I think I would have had a better time if I hadn’t read the book last year. Instead of sitting back and letting the film wash over me and absorb it as it was presented to me, I kept making comparisons to the book and wondering how some of the more radical changes would affect the outcome. If you get the opportunity to catch it in the theater before it goes away, go for it, but with all the craftiness that Christopher Nowlan serves up, this is a film designed for DVD, so you can back up and track down all the clues that have scattered around.

The second film was Martin Scorsese’s cop drama, The Departed. Scorsese has once again cast Leonardo DiCaprio in a starring role, which is starting to get a little old, but the good thing is that there are plenty of other juicy parts to go around. Jack Nicholson plays a colorful crime boss, while Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Martin Sheen play agents in the Boston police department. Alec Baldwin adds some weight to the cast; milking his role as a taskforce team leader for all it’s worth, and manages to get a lot of funny lines in along the way. I’m unfamiliar with the Japanese film that The Departed was based on, but I’m betting there were too many changes to keep track of. That said, both Val and I enjoyed the film quite a big. Matt Damon has a reputation for being something of a joke in Hollywood, but he manages to hold his own just fine here. Jack Nicholson comes close to overplaying his role, which was originally written for Robert DeNiro, but I think he hold it back and quite well and I don’t think I’ve liked him in anything this much for a long time.

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