A French, Yiddish, Russian and German movie with English subtitles, A Bag of Marbles is a simple film about a Jewish Family trying to evade the encroaching Nazis in France and Italy during WW2. The use of European landscapes creates beautiful cinematography, which add to the innocent perspective of the young boys. When the boys are outside traveling, the film feels like a Mark Twain Adventure with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
It is in the indoors that one feels the tension and witnesses the cruelty of Adolph Hitler’s goons. Moments of family joy celebrating a Mom’s violin solo is interrupted by Nazis who complain about hearing Jewish music. Situations get darker when the boys are brutally captured and interrogated by a commandant who wants them medically examined for circumcision.
Though a title works as a dramatic piece of symbolism, A Bag of Marbles is a very humane motion picture. The boys are not superheroes, they bicker and cry for the most immature reasons. Early in the motion picture, the youngest boy befriends a German soldier because the soldier is “cool.” Based on a true story from Holocaust survivors, A Bag of Marbles is a movie about growth.
Deep Sea 3D has returned to MODS. Narrated by Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp, Deep Sea 3D is a 45-minute documentary about the creatures that live in the darkest and deepest oceans on Planet Earth. The most monstrous creature of Deep Sea 3D has to be the Humboldt Squid, a vicious character. With tentacles that can extend up to 6 ft., this carnivore has superior underwater vision and can rip its prey to shreds with its beak.
My favorite character had to be the Mantis Shrimp. This scrappy fighter defends his turf from an over-reaching octopus. While the octopus has the advantage of eight tentacles and a slimy disposition, the Mantis Shrimp manages to out box his predator with his attitude, front claws and speed. As scary as the Humboldt Squid is, the Mantis Shrimp provides the best comic relief and a moment to cheer.
Both A Bag of Marbles and Deep Sea 3D present big screen entertainment, sharing the theme of survival. With decent box office numbers, perhaps big screen entertainment will survive another summer.