Saturday, November 13. 2010
Movie: The Hurt Locker: Finally watched the 2010 Academy Award Best Film on TV tonight. Politically, the film doesn't offer much, but least of all for liberals who think we might at least be trying to do something noble in Iraq. Conservatives won't be much bothered, because the terrorists come off as evil and ubiquitous and utterly without scruple, and the bystanders are suspicious and if they're technically innocent now, just give them time. The film is supposed to follow a support-your-troops line, but they all look like damaged goods, and even if they were damaged before they got to Iraq, I don't see why we should go around invading other countries just to satisfy their primal urges. The film is constructed around four or five bombs and an ambush, and they all provide the expected tension plus bits of technical sophistication. B+
Haven't been posting on movies lately. Haven't seen many, and haven't had much to say about those I've seen. I think the last movies I posted anything on, back in July, were Cyrus and The Secret in Their Eyes (both A-). Very briefly:
Movie: The Town: Nice aerial shots of Charlestown, MA, although I haven't been back since they built the new bridge, so the views strike me as a bit off. One bank robbery, one armored car, one more complicated caper at Fenway, plus some ancillary violence. Lead actor from The Hurt Locker returns as pretty much the same psychopath. Probably more gunplay this time, but that may just be that they prefer AK-47s and they run louder. I didn't buy the Rebecca Hall romance angle at all, but the FBI is as nefarious as ever. B+
Movie: The Social Network: The founding of Facebook and the squabbling over the spoils without anyone ever explaining why it's worth all the money it's supposedly worth. Works with sharp dialogue -- not least of which is that the technical jargon is fundamentally sound -- and lots of details that ring true even when they're ridiculous. A-
Movie: Never Let Me Go: Kazuo Ishiguro novel. Laura read it; found it "incredibly sad," which isn't really a good formula to transplant to the screen, not just because Carey Mulligan's tear (but not her mope) looked manufactured. More likely the novel has suspense and inner depth that couldn't be maintained or expanded. B
Movie: The Girl Who Played With Fire: Second in the trilogy that I haven't read but everyone else has. Good thing to have seen the first first. A-
Movie: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: In Swedish, finally granted a one-week showing as a warmup for the new second film. Swedish title: Män som hatar kvinnor. Over the top, what with the Nazi shit, but pretty extraordinary. A
Movie: Get Low: Robert Duvall plays a geezer, set in Tennessee in the late 1930s. He has something bad on his conscience, and decides to purge it by giving himself a funeral/party, offering his land as bait to draw a crowd. With Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek. A-
Movie: Winter's Bone: Set in Ozarks among meth heads, with a 17-year-old girl raising two younger siblings with dad gone -- dead, actually -- and mom lost to the world. Plot line doesn't remind me of my Ozark relatives, but cooking and cleaning do. A-
Bad timing and/or minor squabbles kept us from seeing: The Kids Are All Right; Inception; Jack Goes Boating; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; It's Kind of a Funny Story; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger; not sure what else. Lots of things don't get here fast and don't last long when they do. Only saw Up in the Air on TV a couple months ago -- much better than The Hurt Locker.
By the way, a few days after seeing The Social Network I finally set up my own Facebook account. Been thinking about it, and fretting about it, for a while, mostly because it provides a communications channel with my nieces/nephews who otherwise aren't very good at keeping in touch. One reason for not doing it is fear of getting swamped by the music industry, who already hit me with way too much spam, and had already lined up with a long list of pending friend requests. My rule for now is to ignore everything that comes in from musicians and publicists (so if you're one of them, that's why). May change that later, depending on how it works out. Since starting up, almost all of my posts have been short notices of blog posts. Thus far I don't like anything, don't have any meaningful info public, don't have a picture, don't have any pictures, have written only a couple of very brief comments on other people's posts. Don't know what the limits or parameters are -- I'm tending to think of it like what I imagine Twitter to be, although I have no interest in going near Twitter to make sure.
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