Daily Archives: August 11, 2009

Recent Cinema

Films watched lately that aren’t The Hurt Locker:

Ghost Town – Eric sat down to dinner and stated that I should pick a movie, he didn’t care which, even if it was a chick flick. I replied that he shouldn’t worry; I didn’t think I had any chick flicks. And proceeded to put Ghost Town on. The premise is not new: after an accident, a dentist is suddenly able to see and communicate with the dead. British comic Ricky Gervais might not be an American audiences first choice for a leading man, but few leading men start out as such a bastard. In the end, it’s a sweet movie with some funny moments, but doesn’t entirely gel.

The Pink Panther 2 – It’s funny.  It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve seen since Tropic Thunder.  Many of the setups are sketch oriented; set-pieces created for the comic potential, but when it’s funny, does it really matter?  And what is sure to become a favored quote in this household: “Let me bring you up to speed. We know nothing. You are now up to speed.”

Fast & Furious – There’s Vin Diesel.  There’s fast cars.  There’s not much else, but there also doesn’t need to be if you’re in it for the first two things.  Neither great cinema, nor the worst thing I’ve been subjected to.

Sunshine – I had forgotten that this is a Danny Boyle film.  Or rather I had forgotten about the things that I really liked about 28 Days Later: the manipulative use of beautiful imagery and immersive soundtrack.  And Cillian Murphy.  This movie might have been more interesting in a theater with its alternating brightness and dark.  (Also interesting is the contrast between burning and freezing.)  The science, and lack there of, didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might, though there are quite a few…stretches.  Also, space horror is not a new thing.  Sunshine made me want to go watch Event Horizon, which does the horror better.

A couple of documentaries from Netflix Instant:
Modify – Since I did some research on body modifications a while back, this documentary didn’t show me anything new.  It just did so in video form.  It is not for the faint of heart.  Some of the modifications are pretty extreme and there is footage of some of them being done.  What this documentary doesn’t go into any detail about is the risks of such procedures.  I understand that they want to be pro-modification, but not telling the whole story is a disservice to the topic.

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 – College football is around the corner and stories like this are why I enjoy the game.  In 1968, both Harvard and Yale were undefeated when they met for the final game of the season.  Yale was heavily favored, and with 42 seconds left in the game, Harvard was down 16 points.  As told through first person account by members of both teams (including Tommy Lee Jones).  Good stuff.