The Notebook -
The things I do for you people! The sacrifices I make for the greater good of movie reviewing! Heck, I even dragged Nan into it. Neither one of us actually had any interest in watching this. I was just getting tired of seeing people label it as a supposed "great" romantic movie. I hated not having the ammunition to shoot them down!
Turns out the movie isn't quite as bad as I was expecting. I'd say a good half of it was perfectly watchable. Corny, but watchable. It's that other half, comprised of horrible cliches, and old people, that make this something bordering on comedy.
Rachel and Ryan are fine as the leads. They have decent chemistry, and move the silly story along fine.
James Garner is fine as well as Old Noah. I found Old Allie kind of hard to watch, though. I know she was supposed to be suffering from Dementia, but it just looked to me like she was suffering from Bad Acting.
The old people scenes are supposed to be sweet and endearing, but they just didn't work for me. Especially the sudden miraculous turnaround by Allie, and the final, gag-inducing, let alone pretty much impossible, scene.
Then. THEN. We have the back and forth romance of Noah and Allie. with an interlude in the middle involving some rich dude. The way Allie treats this man is disgusting. Cheating is NOT romantic. She should have respected the guy enough to keep her legs closed, come back and break it off with him. Skank.
So, anyway. There we have it. A pretty weak sauce romance with all sorts of problems that silly women slap on lists next to Casablanca. What the hell, people. What the HELL.
Memories of Murder -
I didn't realize until after watching this that it is based on a true event that took place in 1986. That's probably for the better, as I wasn't distracted by knowing that.
It's a well made movie, no doubt. Great cinematography, direction, etc.
Still, I was bothered by one too many things to label it a great movie. Regardless of whether the events actually took place in the manor in which they are presented.
Like the constant in-fighting by the investigators. The complete ineptness of the police to cordon off the murder sites from the public/reporters. Pretty much the complete ineptness of the police in general, including making up evidence and torturing suspects. Young women repeatedly going off alone in the KNOWN area where the murders were taking place.
There's just SO much wrong with this story! Is it for the sake of the movie, or did this stuff actually happen? I have no idea. But I have to approach it from the movie standpoint, and it just doesn't wash.
It's STILL a decent entertainment, and gave me a good insight into Korean film-making. It's amazing how different filmmakers from different countries can present a story.