Dirty Pretty Things: DVD Review

The scene is London, the characters almost all immigrants from Third World countries, some of them illegal, all of them trying to survive and avoid the dreaded immigration officials, cast as the bad guys.

I rented Dirty Pretty Things because it boasted the star of Emilie, my favorite movie of all time–even beating out Bagdad Cafe–Audrey Tautou. She was very good in this one as a young woman who dreams of going to New York but is being carefully watched by the bad immigration guys, who are hoping to catch her breaking the rules (like working, or harboring an illegal, both of which she is surreptiously doing). But even better is the main character, a Nigerian doctor reduced to clerking in a hotel, driving a taxi, rarely sleeping. He ties all the characters together and is essential to what gradually becomes the obvious central plot line: a market in human organs, traded by illegal immigrants for new identities, passports, and legal status.

I loved the European pacing of this movie which was nevertheless in English, the good-heartedness of it, and the deeply satisfying ending.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

A reviewer on National Public Radio seemed to agree with our assessment, that the latest and last (thank god) in the Star Wars Trilogy was loud,  relentlessly violent,  poorly acted and horribly scripted. I really loved the first Star Wars movie. I think that’s when I fell in love with Harrison Ford. The only actor in this movie who was remotely interesting or credible wasn’t played by an actor at all: Yoda stole the show, had all the good lines, and is welcome at my house any time.

George Lucas is credited with a script I’d never admit to having had anything to do with. I was reminded of a late night cable television sex film: the “plot” and acting (such as it isn’t) and dialogue are there only to support the real reason for being: sex. In this film, the reason is special effects, which are so fabulous as to be overwhelming. I could have done with about one quarter the special effects and three quarters more attention paid to giving the movie some heart.

For me, Revenge of the Sith resembles nothing so much as one of the thousands of robots that “people” the “cast”: Impressive but who cares?