Getting Back to It
We’re just a couple days from the equinox as I write this. The weather this summer has actually been pretty nice, but the cooler nights are wonderful. I’ve had my Halloween decorations up for a while and have been enjoying the fall reading events. (And watching events. ‘Tis the season for all things perilous.)
College football is back, and I’ve been harried the last couple weeks by fall frisbee league registration. Eric and I will be playing this time. We haven’t played in a league since spring of ’20. Summer league had a few games at the park in my neighborhood, so I picked up with them. Eric joined once too. We’re relying on the effectiveness of the vaccine as well as the ultimate community’s general good sense.
There hasn’t been a Cinema Saturday post in a while. 80s in August transitioned to my using Saturdays for RIP bingo posts. Here are a few notes on some movies that probably won’t get a full post. Title links to a trailer.
Dark City (1998) – rewatch. Dark City has a great style. Directed by Alex Proyas with cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, who worked together on The Crow (1994), it also heavily pulls from Lang’s Metropolis (1927). It came out a year before The Matrix and the two movies have a lot in common plot-wise, but one thing the latter does so much better is exposition. You can info dump in movies, but you have to balance it very carefully with story. The Matrix does a very good job, while Dark City doesn’t. (Don’t quiz me on how the Matrix sequels managed their exposition. I’ve seen them once and that was enough…)
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) – I alternately find the character of Harley Quinn grating and charming, so occasionally Birds of Prey annoyed me somewhat. But it was also kinda fun. It’s very ridiculous, but clever here and there. In fact, I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.
Ford v Ferrari (2019) – If I have a guilty pleasure, it’s long movies about a group of men doing things. The Right Stuff (1983)? Love it. Zodiac (2007)? One of my favorites. (See also, sports movies.) So, yeah, this was the second movie I watched with my brand spankin’ new HBO Max subscription. (Also, it was “leaving” the service on the 18th…) This is a well-made movie, dramatic and grand.
Reminiscence (2021) – I like Hugh Jackman. I like Thandiwe Newton. Unfortunately, Reminiscence doesn’t entirely work. It too is burdened by its exposition with Hugh Jackman’s voice-over filling in details that don’t really need filling in. Also like Dark City, this film bares ill-comparison to a film that is quite a bit like it: Strange Days (1995). Both plots rely on “playback” of events that uncover corruption as well as solve a crime (in typical noir style).