richardf8: (Default)
Precis: Footage of an homage concert to Leonard Cohen framed by commentary from Cohen and the performers.

The good: Cohen's commentary is very illuminating, and his wry, self deprecating humour lends an incredibly gentle touch to the film.

The bad: Self-conciously "artistic" cinematography, including such crimes as shooting in high-speed Super-8 and then enlarging in to 70mm for maximum graininess, and too many excessively tight close-ups of mouths on microphones, as well as double-image special effects seriously mar the films viewability. One or two performances were . . . . strange.

The unforgettable: Cohen performing "Tower of Song" with a band of people influenced by him, including Bono and Rufus Wainwright. Gratitude permeates the stage - gratitude from Cohen that his music will live on the hands of these younger performers, and gratitude from the youngsters for the opportunity to play with Cohen.

The unforgiveable: I went in thinking the film was produced by the Canadian Film Board. However, it was produced by Mel Gibson and released through Icon/Lionsgate. Damn, our money got into that bastard's pocket.
richardf8: (Default)
Just saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Amazing film.

Depp's Wonka is far more interesting than Wilder's. While Wilder's Wonka comes of as an in-control, omniscient God of Morality, Depp's Wonka is this really curious Peter-Pan figure who has issues. He seems very decentered, and as his guests meet their destinies his part seems passive aggressive. The Wilder Wonka seemed more about scaring children; this one is more about scaring parents.

There were lots of great movie tributes, ranging from Ben-Hur to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I think I even caught a reference to Amazon Women on the moon. But I guess the funniest thing I saw was the Oompa Loompa tribute to Busbey Berkeley.

Tim Burton's directorial hand is very solid and sure, and the images of mechanization done to perfection. Burton makes really good use of symmetry, repeating patterns, and deep perspective that are a delight to the eye.

My chief quarrel: the character of Mike Teevee was revised to be a gamer, and quite sharp; but the Lyrics for Dahl Mike TeeVee were retained intact, resulting in a certain dissonance as he was accused of a passivity that he did not, in fact, manifest.
richardf8: (Default)
Saw Howl's Moving Castle for the second time Saturday Night. Excellent movie, improves with multiple viewings. Whether you regard it as a love story, or read it in a Jungian framework, there's lot's to it. It is layered thickly and deeply with good mythic scenes and imagery.

Also read HP&THBP. The writing is tighter than OOTP, to my great relief. But overall I was unimpressed. My initial theory about who THBP was was correct. The person I thought would die died. The means of death was at most mildly surprising, though the killer's post-killing behavior was mildly intriguing. All of the characters ran through their usual scripts as they have so many times before. The only real surprise was the steadfastness shown by one of the shallower characters. All in all, Rowling's writing has become formulaic enough that the read was more a chore than a delight, but better than doing yardwork in 97 degree heat. She's left herself a lot of work to do if she really aims to wrap this thing up in the next book. If she fails to accomplish that in that one book, her writings going to have to become a LOT more interesting to make me come back for a hypothetical book 8.
richardf8: (Default)
Went to see National Treasure this evening, looking for brainless mind candy, and all I can say is wow. Just wow.

Well actually, I'm going to say a lot more than that.

it gets kinda spoilery )
I expect I will own this one on DVD - I imagine that more is buried in there.
richardf8: (Default)
Yep, [livejournal.com profile] morgan1 and I went to the Lord of the Rings yesterday. It was a long, engaging film and an all out assault on the American bladder. my thoughts are behind the the curtain )
And then I stood up to let people out and the effect of gravity on my bladder negated my plan to watch the credits roll. Morgan learned that Viggo Mortenson did his own singing.

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