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Showing posts from December, 2010

Land of the Lost

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This one's due back at the library really soon, so I made myself sit through it. It wasn't too difficult. The film contained some truly amusing images and Anna Friel (a favorite since Pushing Daisies). The movie was funny on much the same lines as The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra but where Lost Skeleton mocks with pure and pointed satire, Land of the Lost upped the budget, and lost the cult value.

The script contained the obligatory sex jokes, but not to a nauseating extent, just enough to titillate the teens. It also contained some really funny moments, such as A Chorus Line, and a well-placed walnut. It was refreshing to see a CGI T-rex upstage Will Ferrell.

Ferrell's humor and lines leaned toward the slightly overdone, but his comic timing still impressed me. Anna Friel seemed unfortunately to be playing second-fiddle. I can't be certain of her real lead potential, since she seems so often to be hiding behind her leading men. The third and fourth main characters were s…

Hackers

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Because it was expiring tomorrow, I thought I'd just check it out. I'm actually pretty glad I did. Although this film takes blatant advantage of several simple facts unknown to non-users back in the nineties, the sequences most unrealistic are also strictly symbolic. The movie doesn't just fill in the boring blanks with nonsense, but they don't explain that it's symbolism either, leaving those familiar with computers to scoff and roll their eyes. To them I say, "It's a movie. Get over yourselves." It's the film equivalent of impressionism. It's not at all interested in reflecting reality, but certainly engaged in capturing how the eye reflects a kind of reality.

The director paced this film differently than I'm used to. It wasn't necessarily boring, but it didn't follow the same threat/climax pattern we see in most techno-action stories. I felt that it benefited from this evenness, but sadly, not at the box office.

Jonny Lee Mille…

Laws of Attraction

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The scene of Parker Posy having sex on a giant oak dining table must have remained burned into my unconscious since I first saw this film years ago. I'd forgotten all about it until just the other night. The film as a whole must have been entirely unmemorable, and yet when I'd finished, it seemed unforgettable. The resolution was much more satisfying than the usually bitchy-businesswoman flick. Julianne Moore's character actually softened several times, like Amy Adams's character in Leap Year, which she more than half resembled. As Moore's character toddled, dragging her suitcase on wheels, down the Irish road after the beat-up, rented car I even muttered "Is it your own self, Louis" and "Throw it in the wash, it'll be grand."

Pierce Brosnan played a delightfully soft role here, with real emotional passion, and yet his character showed that lawyer zing only available to really successful jackasses. His character came across as nuanced and c…

The Merry Widow

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With beautiful music, and some truly wonderful dance scenes filmed with creativity and a great eye for everything but color, this film captured my imagination. The story is classic, with no real twists or turns, although a few moments made me flinch.

This film was made in a time when Hollywood was just starting to become aware of its own race issues. The gypsy woman is obviously a caucasian in blackface, and Fernando Lamas is hispanic, but playing a character from a small, Germanic or French-speaking country. His voice is lovely, though, and I don't think they could have improved on it, although they might have made Marshovia nearer Spain or Portugal (or even South America).

The costumer should be congratulated. Lana Turner's dresses were impeccable.

Enthusiasm about the story itself requires belief in the "reformed rake" plot, which has never been a strong point for me. I prefer a nice, upstanding nerd.

Top Ten Television - SiR Style

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I haven't watched many movies lately, but I've got quite a list waiting for me to get to, once the holidays are over and I'm done re-taking the GRE (I didn't realize they expired. Lucky me). In the meantime, television has been my distraction of choice, and here are my favorite distractions this year (I mean, except my typewriter, of course) ("Opry calls it multi-tasking"). Since I don't have any actual satellite, cable, or air television, I catch all of these shows LEGALLY online, streaming on the Wii, or by ordering the discs.

10. The Pretender
 I watched this show briefly as a kid, and thought it ended pretty intriguingly, so I decided to give it another try, via hulu.com. I imagine it didn't win many awards, but for fluffy time-killing, it works just fine. Michael Weiss's acting does get a bit tedious, but I'm hoping he warms up in later seasons. The thing I find fascinating about this story, like most of the things I watch, is the villain.…

Watching the Detectives

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Featuring what must potentially be Cillian Murphy's bare backside, this film walked a thin line between brilliantly amusing and marginally pointless. I adored all the movie references (and I recommend the '59 Body Snatchers), and despite what that might say about me, I don't at all feel the need to run around wreaking havoc on any kind of level whatsoever.

The envelope it came in described the female character as  "femme fatale" - most likely to compare her to the noir films referenced so often, but she wasn't nearly so sinister. Technically, yes, she got the "hero" in trouble (some pretty deep trouble, if you consider it realistically), but the entirety of the plot did not include any larger events, murders, artificial inflations of that kind, etc. It was simply (or complexly?) a romance between a sedentary nerd and a marginally abusive lunatic, both of whom were fairly brilliantly acted, but don't tell Cillian; he'll get a swollen head.

T…

Rough Magic

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The contrast between sex and romance in this film amazed me. Strong elements of real emotional romance made strong appearances and held the plot together well, and yet throughout the whole thing, in the ending especially, the director reduces that potentially epic romance to its most crass. I felt disappointed.

Russell Crowe impressed me significantly. His performance, though obviously not the focal point of the film, showed real skill and nuance. Bridget Fonda was adequate, though not at all impressive. I always enjoy watching her anyway, for some reason, even knowing that she's simply not as good as her name makes her sound.

The magic in the movie had the same problem as the romance, in a kind of profound parallel. Although it had the potential (with a slightly higher budget, I must assume) to sweep the audience off it's feet, like the romance, it was reduced to a sausage and a ring. [insert naughty joke here].

The camera work irritated me. The filming locations were nice, …