Gators and Fish
Saw two movies recently.
This movie was largely forgettable. It's a Tim Burton-directed film about a father-son reconciliation when the father is on his death bed. The story is told through a series of reenactments of the unbelievable stories that the father used to tell his disbelieving son, and shows how the son comes to terms with his dad's personality.
Ewan McGregor was very good, so convincingly adopting a Southern accent that I had no idea who the actor was until I saw the credits. The movie has cartoonishly outlandish sets typical of Burton's films, but if you are not a big McGregor or Burton fan, don't waste your time. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 117/152, for 77%.
I would have given this 3.5, but it gets an extra .5 by virtue of being so different from the typical stuff churned out by the big-budget Hollywood crapmachine.
The movie is a documentary about Mark "Gator" Rogowski, a skateboarding legend who had a rapid rise to fame, followed by an equally steep descent into depression. Gator ended up in jail after admitting to the murder of his ex-fiancees' best friend.
The story is told through a current-day Gator voiceover (recorded from jail), old interview and skate footage of Gator, and interviews with colleagues like Tony Hawk, Stacy Peralta, and Steve Caballero.
Gator is not a very sympathetic figure, but it is easy to understand how he went bad without any guidance. It also raises interesting questions about being a young celebrity in America's star-worshipping culture. These questions are even more relevant now more than ever, with young stars like Michelle Wie, Freddy Adu, and LeBron James gaining traction in the national consciousness.
The movie is definitely worth seeing, especially if you are interested in skateboarding subculture. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 91% on 29/32 positive reviews.