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Sun, Dec 21, 2014

VINSON: New movies leave audiences wondering

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These days, as is the case with many others, I very seldom go to a theater to watch a movie on the big screen.

A few months back, however, a friend and I did go to a public theater to see the movie “Argo,” starring Ben Affleck. Affleck also directed this cinematic gem, as well as being co-producer with Hollywood star and friend George Clooney.

The movie is based on a true story and centers on a CIA-led mission to go into Iran and save six American diplomats who are in a life-threatening situation, resultant of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

Minus any reserve, I will state that “Argo” is the best movie I’ve seen in quite some time.

While being easy to follow and understand, it also keeps the audience on the edge of our seats. Though I don’t claim to be Siskel or Ebert, my personal critique of “Argo” must be on the mark because it won the 2013 Golden Globe award for best drama and Ben Affleck received the best director award for his work. Still, it is up for best picture with the prestigious Academy Awards, to be presented Sunday, Feb. 24.

Though I have not seen them, I do plan to make a solid effort to also watch “Lincoln,” Steven Spielburg’s epic about President Abraham Lincoln, which features a litany of well-known actors. I also want to see “Django Unchained,” directed by Quentin Tarantino, about a gritty, black slave attempting to rescue his wife, starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. Tarantino is a man I greatly admire because he marches to his own beat and doesn’t give the time of day to a bunch of movie critics who have nary a clue.

And, of course, both movies have been nominated in several categories regarding the upcoming Academy Awards.

OK, we’ve addressed some quality movies dealing with worthy subject matter, but here’s the true impetus for this column.

A couple months back, I was inside Northside Video in McMinnville talking to the owner, Dave Williams. At that particular point in time, “Lincoln” had not been released to the public, however, there was considerable hype surrounding it.

I commented to Dave I planned to see “Lincoln” when it was released. Dave then said that I should first watch “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

I chuckled and said, “Well, given the state of today’s society, I wouldn’t doubt that someone will eventually try something off the wall like that.”

Dave chuckled back with, “Will try? It’s already out on DVD. Just check it out on the wall over there. And when you finish checking out that one, just walk down the aisle a few rows, and you’ll find ‘Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.’”

So, I adhered to Dave’s instructions, and surely enough, I found both movies. Dave went on to tell me that both had rented fairly well.

Because I am not that well versed on a thorough, accurate history of Lincoln and have seen neither of those movies, I’ll reserve making a comment.

What floored me, though, was the mere idea of a Spielberg-made movie about Lincoln mixed in the same conversation with movies about him going up against vampires and zombies.

On that night, I finally managed to get past the issue of a wide variety of movies about Lincoln.

I browsed the shelves a bit more, and I discovered yet two more masterpieces, “Nude Nuns with Big Guns” and “Strippers vs. Werewolves,” neither of which were in the adult category.

When it comes to making movies in the year 2013, I’m emotionally torn. I don’t know whether to clap my hands or shake my head.

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Abraham Lincoln, Culture, Django Unchained, Entertainment, History, Lincoln, Movie, Voices
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