Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sweet Land Review

I've decided to post some occasional movie reviews at the EbertFest blog site, for those rare instances that I actually see a newly-released movie (or newly enough released on DVD and it didn't play in Champaign-Urbana). I'll link them from here when I feel inspired enough to do a review. I've enjoyed doing reviews during EbertFest, but want to get better at it, so will be practicing occasionally to get into better movie-review shape, so to speak. Call it trying to get rid of my movie-review pondus, or adding to it, depending on which meaning of pondus one likes.

As a counter-example, I was recently dragged to Transformers mostly against my will by some 8 year old boys who shall remain nameless. They enjoyed it immensely, which is not a surprise, since it seemed targeted directly at 8 year old boys. The characters talked the way 8 year old boys talk when fighting each other's action figures. The character names were ones that 8 year old boys would come up with if they didn't have very much imagination or had ingested a lot of lead paint and asbestos as toddlers. I won't be doing a review of Transformers.

However, I did do a review of Sweet Land, which is newish on DVD, and I don't remember it playing here. The short review is: Good movie, go rent it. The full review is here.

The slightly longer mini-review is: Good movie about a post-WWI German mail order bride coming into a Lutheran Minnesota farming community and which deals with issues of immigration and community. Of interest to this blog is that the community in this movie could have easily been Mennonite as Lutheran, especially during that time period, when Mennonites were very isolated and suspicious of outsiders. For hard-core Mennonites, imagine a movie about a Mennonite General Conference (GC) bride entering a Mennonite Church (MC) community, or vice versa, circa 1925 and the suspicion and wariness that would naturally ensue. It may sound absurd, but no more so that Lutherans who are afraid of Germans. Anyway, it’s a nice, wholesome, sweet movie.

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