My Double Feature: Pan's Labyrinth & The Departed

Saturday Beth and I had a rare day free of the kids as they spent the day with her parents. That allowed us to run some errands and even catch a couple of movies we had been wanting to see.

The first was "Pan's Labyrinth". The trailer for the film looked intriguing enough then my friend Ryan raved about how great it was so we decided to check it out. We went in not know what to expect. It was nothing like we thought it would be but everything we wanted it to be. First of all we had no idea it was a Spanish film and it was going to be subtitles the whole way through. Not a problem since the movie is so amazing you forget about you're reading it just a few minutes in. Second, I thought it was going to be a "Never Ending Story" type movie, and it was...kind of. It was more "Never Ending Story" meets "Saving Private Ryan" meets "Reservoir Dogs". It was one of the most violent movies I have ever seen. But the violence was justified. For those of you like me and have no idea what "Pan's" is about, it focuses on WWII Spain and the Spanish civil war. A young girl and her mom are caught up in the heart of the fighting. While tragedy surrounds them, the young girl discovers a magical world where she will be a princes and rescue her family if she can complete three difficult task. The 2 hours it takes to watch the film go by like it's 2 minutes. Beth and I along with everyone else in the theater sat in stunned silence when the movie ended. I've tried to think of words to describe this film and I just can't. It's an unbelievable work of art that you have to see to understand and appreciate. 4 Stars

The second movie we saw was another highly recommended film. Not only has "The Departed" been nominated for every Oscar available, but all of our friends have been swearing by how great this movie is. Films with that much hype seldom live up it but this was an exception. "The Departed" for me was one of the best police/crime thrillers I have ever seen. The dialogue was unreal. (not the F-bombs being dropped every other word but the actual conversations in-between them) The acting was terrific. I'm not a Damon, Baldwin, or DiCaprio fan but all three were on top of their games for this one and gave me a new found respect for them. Wahlberg and Nicholson were equally as good and everyone involved deserves all the Oscar attention they're getting. The movie is 2 1/2 hours long and I didn't want it to end. Several people have mentioned the movie having a twist at the end and I will disagree with that. It's not a twist at all it's just one more shocking and surprising event that caps off a must see must own film. 4 Stars


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