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Some Recent Viewing

Of course, I didn't go to the movies while I was in Europe, but I did see three films while going to and fro, and I've been catching up with my "Zip" list now that I have so much free time. Some brief comments:

Doubt (seen on outgoing plane). This was a film of a stage play, and it shows, rather, though the performances were all very strong. Meryl Streep's was, I thought, a little mannered. Philip Seymour Hoffman was particularly good, but he always is. The issues in the play movie were complex and unresolved in a very satisfactory way, and I would have liked to talk to someone about them afterwards.

Coraline (seen on return flight) Worth seeing for the "real" stop-motion animation, which is wonderful. I think I liked it somewhat better than the book (with which I was not wildly impressed), but I still found the story somewhat predictable and not wildly original.

The Edge of Love (also seen on return flight) I had never heard of this - the dramatization of relationships in Dylan Thomas' life, starring Kyra Knightly, Cillean Murphy and Sienna Miller (and someone whose name I forget playing DT). It was BBC, so perhaps had been made for television? Kyra sings! And rather well, too. Kyra acts! Better than I've seen her in anything since Bend it Like Beckham. It was a quality production all round, and a fascinating story, though it didn't leave me liking Dylan Thomas any more than I did already (except as a poet).

The Quantum of Solace I'm sorry. I came to the conclusion about halfway through this that I don't like Daniel Craig and I don't believe he is Bond. And I'm so effing tired of chase scenes that are so special-effects-ridden that you can't see who is doing what or which car is the one you care about. A little over halfway through, I fell asleep, which just shows you. Judi Dench was lovely, though.

Iris Speaking of Judi Dench... I had avoided this movie for years, for reasons that might be obvious to readers of my flist. However, it came up on my Zip list and I watched it and enjoyed it, more for Kate Winslet's fiercely intelligent portrayal of the young Iris Murdoch than anything else. I felt that it skimmed the surface, and I would have liked _more_ of Murdoch's writing and ideas at the beginning so that the loss later in her life was more apparent. But it was beautifully acted by all concerned and a very sensitive portrayal of the story and of the relationship between Iris and her husband.

The Power of Song A documentary about the life of Pete Seeger, who is one of my heroes. This was terrific, and not completely uncritical of Pete, though it was mostly about how wonderful he is. But it was clear, throughout, that having a "saint" as a husband and father is not ideal, no matter how much you can admire his character and his work. Great music, of course, and the advantage of watching such things alone is that you can sing along ;-)

Australia This had two potentially terrific movies in it, and if it had finished two-thirds of the way through I would have loved it and celebrated it as a thumping old-fashioned romp. However, it did not end two-thirds of the way through, and by the time it did I had not exactly lost interest but gotten a bit exhausted by everything that was being thrown at me. It was beautiful to watch, of course. Overall, it was a little better than I had thought it was going to be; at least I did not fall asleep!

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
heleninwales
Jul. 21st, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
...or which car is the one you care about

Just wanted to add a Me Too! to your comment on the fights and chases. Perhaps I'm getting old, but the action was so fast that, as you say, you couldn't tell who you were supposed to be rooting for.

I was underwhelmed by Quantum of Solace, however, I did like Daniel Craig as Bond in Casino Royale, my favourite Bond ever, in fact.
intertext
Jul. 21st, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I liked Casino Royale, too, and I'm not sure exactly what the difference is here, but I just found myself desperately missing Pierce Brosnan! I wanted some of the elegance and humour of earlier Bonds.
lalouve
Jul. 21st, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
I tried to watch Casino Royal, got queasy halfway through the opening fight scene, and gave up. Not generally watching action movies makes one very sensitive to violence, I notice.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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