Monkey Reviews

Through the Eyes of A Chimp

Monkey Reviews
February 7, 2006
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Chimp goes Czech – Up and Down

What starts off as quirky and off the wall, Up and Down ends up managing to weave several unrelated storylines into a fairly meaningful whole. While it maintains it’s quirky edge and lack of overall narrative, this movie gives the viewer an inside look at “Slavic” existence – everything from the university intellectual to the seedy underbelly of the local criminal, from the obsessed mother – hungry to a brother and sister who discover secret ties and the meaning of re-connection and that is just to name a few. The characters really carry the meaning of the movie and they are all so real that you don’t feel as if you’ve been duped by a cheesy or packaged ending. The journeys that each character take aren’t stock and the message, while making a political and sociological point, doesn’t suffer from ideological baggage.

Rating: Quirky but meaningful. Worth the subtitles

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About Face, or Monkey goes “Munich”

I have to admit that the first time I sat down to watch this movie, I couldn’t find an “in” and was bored within half an hour. Given that it is almost 3 hours long I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Luckily we hung onto the DVD and gave it another shot. I don’t know what I was thinking first time around but viewing it the second time was a completely different experience. Munich is the story about the Hostage taking at the 1972 (?) Olympics and while that is the premise I became aware that IMHO, the historical story is really the backdrop to another “hostage taking” that occurs. I found myself drawn into the inner story; the development and the change that occurs in people who dedicate themselves to avenging the horrors that come out of the Middle Eastern crisis – a crisis so ancient and primal. I want to stop before giving too much away but I went away feeling a deeper respect for Speilberg as the story isn’t politically one-sided. He resists riding the bandwagon and his deeper critique and message are well timed given where the world is at.

Rating: Multi-leveled story. A movie for history buffs and for those interested in a psychological yarn.