Movies I Have Seen Lately
Jesus is Magic: Sarah Silverman's concert movie is funny enough that you're willing to sit through the lamer bits (usually weird, highly produced musical numbers you never quite know how to take). This is highly ironic, shock-value comedy that attacks our societal hypocrisies head-on; if you're tempted to say it's-funny-'cause-it's-true, nine times out of ten you didn't get the joke.
The Island: This we rented while my brother was here. It was pretty much expectedly terrible, but in that shlocky, enjoyable way you're willing to put up with, as long as you can suspend your disbelief.
Munich: Spielberg's latest is definitely worth seeing, and even manages to avoid the usual ham-handed happy endings that have made the man's name synonymous with cheese. As others have commented, and even criticized, the movie is about the cycle of violence, as the attack in Munich leads to Mossad reprisals leads to counter-reprisals and counter-counter-reprisals and so on. The end of the movie directly points at 9/11 in a number of ways, suggesting that perhaps even that event (and, by implication, the government's violent responses in Afghanistan and then Iraq) is just the latest entry in this endless cycle of atrocity and counter-atrocity.
These are ideas worth thinking about, even if the movie poses no answer to a possibly insurmountable problem. Our culture is so enmeshed with violence that it is difficult sometimes to imagine another mode of conflict resolution, much less an effective one. Even our main character, who ultimately tires of violence after witnessing (and doing) what he does, is quick to return to form when his own family is threatened, promising an eternal vendetta against his enemies in almost identical terms as Islamic terrorists: I will kill innocents. I will stop at nothing. I will make you pay.
With all these heavy ideas floating around the movie, it's no wonder the characters suffer. Even our main character is basically a cipher, loosely and exclusively defined by Donnie-Brasco-esque devotion to his absent family. The remaining characters are not especially well-defined either, with basically arbitrary characteristics and then equally arbitrary sudden reversals. But despite this failing the movie is still worth seeing, if only to wrestle once again with the void.