Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dan In Real Life...

I must be the last person to finally see this movie. I'm not a huge fan of The Office and so I didn't run out to see this film, but it's brilliant! The writing and the acting are perfect. The characters get under your skin, even the minor characters. John Mahoney and Diane Wiest play Dan's parents and they are just so wonderful that you wish you could adopt them. When the family breaks into the morning Jazzercise routine and make that believable, you are officially in love with them all. Dan is hilarious stuck in the "special room" with the dryer that always seems to have someones sneakers banging around in it while he's trying to sleep.
I think this has to be the best romantic comedy written in 10 years. I shouldn't have rented it, I should have just bought it.


Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.
~Ernest Shackleton
Our book club read a book about the life of Ernest Shackleton and his polar ice explorations several months ago and I wanted to see this film ever since. And, the film was pretty good.
The story reminds me a lot of that in the film Apollo 13. Shackleton and his crew set about to be the first to which would carry the British flag across the continent from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea by way of the Pole. They fail at that goal. The rescue is the extraordinary story of Ernest Shackleton and the men of the Endurance.
Just one of the amazing parts of this story is when Shackleton decides that he must reach South Georgia in order to save his men. This he must do in just a small life boat and 800 miles of open ocean. Once he reaches South Georgia, he finds himself on the wrong side of the island and has to become a mountaineer which is an amazing feat in itself, made all the more amazing by the fact that he has very little to eat.
Kenneth Branagh does a fantastic job playing the part and showing Shackleton's truly unusual leadership skills.. the film is worthwhile just for this. Shackleton has an interesting way of hiring people. He thinks their personalities as important as their skills. Every man is required to do every job. When men become negative and have a poisonous attitude during some of the worst parts of the journey.. he keeps those men close to him. He knows when to treat people with kid gloves and when to be tough.
This is truly an amazing story of an important explorer. Don't miss.