Sunday, July 25, 2010

The trouble with Steven

First off, in other tv news, I posted on facebook and twitter 25 days ago that Glee needed to do a Rocky Horror episode. Ryan Murphy owes me some royalties.

But, in more important tv news, the Doctor Who finale. The quick summation is that I love Matt Smith as the Doctor as much as I hate Steven Moffat as the showrunner.

Now, let me back up to two years ago (time travel!).

I had no problem with David Tennant moving on. I had major reservations about Steven Moffat taking over.

Most of this stems from the Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead double episode. Don't get me wrong - I love some of his writing. I love a lot of Coupling (although parts of it came off somewhat misogynistic - which did contribute to my worries about him taking over Who). I love the Empty Child/Doctor Dances arc, Blink, and the Girl in the Fireplace.

But the Silence in the Library. This episode came out after David Tennant and Russell T. Davies announced their departures. And then Steven Moffat went and introduced River Song. River Song, who had seen the Doctor before. Who was a part of his future. Who said his eyes looked young.

The problem here, of course, being that this made no sense in terms of continuity. We all knew David Tennant would be leaving. The Doctor, of her past, had a completely different face - or several. But she hadn't seen David Tennant's face before (because there wasn't enough time left in David Tennant's run for her to see him looking like that again. Or for the first time, for her.)

So that pulled me out of the story and irked me. But fine, whatever. I liked the creepiness of the episode well enough.

Then came the Forest of the Dead.

Jesus did I have a problem with this ending. First off, there's the old streak of kinda-misogyny rearing its head. But god - putting her brainwaves into a computer program forever? In what way is that merciful? In what way appealing? Not to mention - that is the best THE DOCTOR could come up with? He's so smart, he's had ages to plan for her death and he puts her into a computer? Hang on just a minute.

I found the end so jarring, so completely awful that it blots out the creepy atmosphere of the first part. I hate this episode nearly as much as I hated Love and Monsters, which is saying something. Here's an article written around that time by someone else who had (even more) reservations about Steven Moffat. I think the really telling part of that article is this line:

"If he'd rather ignore the thoughtful philosophical considerations that sci-fi can inspire, why is he even writing sci-fi?"

Now, I enjoy sci-fi, but I wouldn't say I'm an expert on the genre or would be able to cover it in the same level of depth as an io9 writer. But it brings up why I think Steven Moffat has failed as the showrunner for Doctor Who. He ignores what he pleases. He ignores continuity, and logic, and even the rules his own universe has been following if he can't make them fit into his current story. He can write a good short episode, but he can't delve into the complexities of the Who universe. He doesn't really take the time to think through the "philosophical considerations" of time travel.

And with a show with so much narrative play, I find that really dangerous. Well, maybe dangerous is the wrong word. Certainly incredibly worrisome.

Now, if I didn't like the new Doctor, I suppose I wouldn't care what happened to the show. I could have my DVDs of seasons 1-5 and that would be that. But I do like the new Doctor, and although the season has had it's ups and downs, I've enjoyed it overall. I will tune in next season.

I know some people who won't, though, and fair enough. This season has had problems and most of them have to do with Steven Moffat being in charge.

First off, the writing. Now of this season, he has written The Eleventh Hour, The Beast Below, The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone, and the Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang.

The Eleventh Hour wasn't a favorite, but it was okay as an introduction to the new Doctor. The Beast Below had some moments, but I thought that overall it was one of the weakest episodes this season (the worst, I thought, was the Dalek episode. Ugh.) I liked the Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone, BUT there are continuity problems with these episodes.

Blink was a fantastic episode. It was well written, and it introduced a scary new threat in the Doctor's universe (which god knows we could use more of. ENOUGH DALEKS ALREADY.) Blink was written by Steven Moffat. Steven Moffat created the Weeping Angels. And then in The Time of Angels, he completely changes them.

Say what now?

Now, overall, I enjoyed that episode. River Song really started to grow on me as a character (and I'd had two years to get over the David Tennant inconsistency). As I said before, I really like Matt Smith as the Doctor, I didn't say it before, but I enjoy Amy, and I really enjoyed the rapport all three shared. I loved this bit;

Amy: You're so his wife!
River: Oh Amy, Amy, Amy! this is the Doctor we're talking about. Do you really think it could be anything that simple?
Amy: Yep.
River: You're good. I'm not saying you're right but you're good.

In fact, I do think that has been the best part about the new season; the characters and their development. Well done there, Mr. Moffat, for overseeing that.

BUT. The weeping angels were scary before, sure, but they were not "the deadliest, most powerful, most malevolent lifeform evolution has ever produced." I'm sorry. You've changed the rules and the definition for one of your own creations. Hmmm.

And then, in addition to reusing his villain (which, let's face it, is pretty common in the Whoniverse), he reuses the disembodied voice from the Silence in the Library. Still kinda scary, but it worries me that he is reusing his tropes so early into his tenure as a showrunner.

But fine, overall I liked the episode, and I was willing to overlook the changes in the angels.

We get to the Pandorica Opens. Fabulous. I LOVED this episode. I was right on the edge of my seat for that cliffhanger and I couldn't believe I was going to have to wait a week to find out what happens. All week I've been looking forward to the Doctor, trapped by himself in a box prison. Talking to himself, cleverly figuring out an ace up his sleeve and emerging triumphant.

But no. Five minutes in, and Mr. Moffat has blown all the narrative tension he himself had built up the week before. The Doctor escapes because future Doctor comes back and hands plastic Rory the screwdriver.

That is sloppy, lazy screenwriting right there.

Steven Moffat wrote himself into a corner, couldn't think of an ace for the Doctor, gets future Doctor to intervene, and moves right on to the next bit, hoping we will all just gloss over the illogical storytelling with him. Except that every single audience member went, "What? That doesn't make sense."

Now, sure, if you gloss over it, most of the episode was fun. I think Matt Smith and Karen Gillian put in their best acting of the season. But if you find yourself drawn back to try to figure out how the Doctor got out of prison and you think about it for more than two seconds, it doesn't make any sense. Future Doctor cannot already have escaped without past Doctor escaping. It works in the context of the episode, and Steve Moffat probably hoped we'd all chalk it up to wibbly wobbly timey wimey-ness... but it doesn't actually work.

And here's my biggest problem with Steven Moffat taking over. He is not good with continuity. He can write a good story, but he can't write a good ongoing story that criss-crosses over itself and has to stay in the same boundaries.

Rose couldn't touch younger Rose when she time traveled. Amy Pond can, apparently. The rule doesn't fit in with Steven Moffat's story, so he disregards it. I find that disrespectful to the universe Doctor Who has built up over so many years.

Furthermore, there were a number of points in this episode that made me recall a scene from Thank You for Smoking;

Jeff Megall: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they're looking to make.
Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space?
Jeff Megall: It's the final frontier, Nick.
Nick Naylor: But wouldn't they blow up in an all oxygen environment?
Jeff Megall: Probably. But it's an easy fix. One line of dialogue. 'Thank God we invented the... you know, whatever device.'

There were a lot of whatever devices going on. One line explanations.

Oh, Amy's mostly dead but can be kept in unconscious stasis till her DNA comes along. Oh, there's a failsafe protocol in the TARDIS that keeps River in a time loop. Oh, the universe pouring through Amy's head has given her the power to remember people through time and space. Oh, even though the Daleks have never existed in this universe, the one on earth gets left behind as a fossil.


(Two more bits about Amy being mostly dead. 1 - There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. And 2 - if all it took for the Pandorica to open was the occupant's DNA on the outside, then couldn't that have been the Doctor's ace? Have tenth doctor or twelfth doctor or whoever touch it at some point?)

The other inconsistency in the logic of the episode that bugged me was this; if the Pandorica remembered the universe as it was, then doesn't it need to remember a universe with the Doctor in it? How can he be lost to the void? He's been crucial to so many historical points, that if he hadn't existed until Amy remembered him, then the universe would have been completely different.

Now, let me reiterate. I thought this episode was fun. There are lots of great lines in it, and great character moments. I loved the dying Doctor saying goodbye. I loved the "something old, something new..." bit. I loved River saying yes. I loved the opening with Amy in the museum. I loved Rory's sweeping romantic gesture. I ADORED the fez.

You just need to not think about the plot too closely. But that's really a shame for a show that has had some really great, tight writing in it.

I feel that this episode vindicated (?) my worries about Steven Moffat as the overseer for this universe. Russell T. Davies wasn't perfect. Lord knows no one could bloat a finale like he could. But you got the sense that he adored this universe. He loved puzzling through the paradoxes and complexities of time travel. Whereas I get the sense that Steven Moffat isn't smart enough to understand time travel, or remember what has happened on this very show before, and so he disregards and ignores whatever doesn't suit him at the moment.

Which is a shame. I really like these characters he has written. I think River plays off of Matt Smith a million times better than she did with David Tennant (I seriously loved how annoyed he was when she showed up in The Time of Angels). I love having a zany, seriously funny Doctor, particularly after all of the moping of the tenth doctor (don't get me wrong - I loved David Tennant and NO ONE can do tortured like he can. But Matt Smith is a really great change of pace). I want the show to continue strong. I don't want there to be huge plot holes and inconsistencies that keep me from enjoying the story or that pull me away from the acting.

The bottom line? I can't enjoy Matt Smith with a mop and a fez if I'm trying to figure out how his timeline didn't just implode.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Waiting for releases

Today I got to thinking about the process of waiting for a film to come out. Not the anticipation, or marketing (viral or otherwise). But the simple process of trying to keep a film in your head or on your "to watch" list for months or even years.

There are plenty of major releases that are easy enough to follow. The project, director and cast are announced, the first day of filming is announced, the release date is announced, there is widespread omnipresent marketing saturation. You go see Iron Man 2. Simple.

But there are so many other films that get a one line trade announcement. A foreign trailer shows up online. An indie gets included in a film fest line up. These projects might peak your interest, but then how are you supposed to remember them months later when they get a tiny release, if they are ever released at all?

Today I saw a trailer for Wir sind die Nacht (We are the Night). It looks like it could be a fun, stylish vampire flick and it caught my eye for having Karoline Herfurth of Perfume: the Story of a Murderer in it.


It's foreign. IMDB doesn't list a US distribution date. Netflix doesn't have a record of the film, so I can't place it in my Saved queue. (This is often how I remember movies to see later that I have missed. A Town Called Panic, Terribly Happy and the Secret of Kells have all ended up in this memory bank. The first two are available to watch now, and I know that whenever the latter becomes available, it will be added to my list of things to watch.)

But what to do about Wir sind die Nacht? How will I remember to look for it on Netflix in 6 months or a year, to see whether a region 1 DVD was ever released?

Also today, indieWire released a list of 40 upcoming titles they hope to see at TIFF or Venice. This comes from the announcement that Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan will be opening Venice. It's a fabulous list, reminding me of a lot of upcoming projects I'm excited for, including some which have been wildly delayed (more on that in a moment). Several of these films already have release dates planned. Several more are clear Oscar bait, and I'm probably going to be able to catch them at some point. However, not all of them are set for release.

And what about those projects you hear snippets about - being shelved, quietly shunted to DVD release, or lingering in development limbo for years? For example, All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, may finally be released this year (fingers crossed) although it was filmed way back in the spring of '08. Margaret, starring Anna Paquin, was filmed in 2006 and might get a release in 2011. If you had heard a snippet about filming back in 2006 and got excited about the premise, would you still remember to check it out 5 years later?

One film I've been excited about since I first heard about it, way back in 2008, is Julie Taymor's Tempest, which is included on the indieWire list. It was going to be put out by Miramax in 2009, but then the studio went under. The fates of The Tempest, along with Last Night (aka Tell Me) (Kiera Knightley), the Switch (aka the Baster) (Jennifer Aniston), Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (Guy Pierce), and The Debt (Helen Mirren & Tom Wilkinson) were all left up in the air. The Tempest is finally due to be released this December, the Switch in August, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark in January (it's currently being hyped at Comic Con), and the Debt in December.

Last Night still does not have a release date.

I heard a bit about The Chameleon when it premiered at Tribeca. Last month we got a trailer, but it's a french subtitled version, because it only has a release date in France. As far as I know, it has not been picked up for domestic distribution. And who knows if and when it will get a DVD release? (Luckily, Netflix does have this one, so it will stick around my saved page for however long.)

There are films like Passchendaele, which won best film in Canada, which has never been released in any format in the US. I'd like to see that someday. I have no idea if I ever will get a chance to.

Then there's this intriguing list on Wikipedia of unscheduled releases for 2010. Like the indieWire list, many of these films may see a release date at some point in the future. But will I catch wind of a one week limited distribution? A Netflix or On Demand premiere?

See also Leaves of Grass (Edward Norton) and Unthinkable (Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Sheen) for two more examples of films with distribution woes. How many people would have enjoyed Unthinkable had it been marketed as a big studio thriller? How much buzz will have carried through the months by the time Leaves of Grass finally debuts?

Given the huge number of projects that are being worked on at any one time, the difficulty of getting a film through production (take, for instance, Bubba Nosferatu, which Paul Giamatti claims has fallen apart 15 times), and the astounding crap that seems to make it through the whole process without hassle (the Smurfs, Marmaduke, Transformers.... take your pick), I find it worrisome that it can be so difficult to track down something that interested you. It's fantastic that there are so many ways to try to catch a film these days, be it in your local art house (or even a big multiplex like AMC which keeps a screen or two reserved for AMC Select screenings), on On Demand, or via Netflix. But when there are so many small films out there, with such uncertain development to release times, how am I supposed to keep track?

There are films like Amigo, starring Chris Cooper and Garrett Dillahunt, which hardly get reported on at all. It makes me wonder how many good, interesting smaller films get lost in the shuffle of the studio production rigmarole.

Much as IMDB became a clearinghouse for cast and crew data, I'd love to see some sort of centralized clearinghouse sprout up for the development track of a film. What studio is producing it, which fests it is playing at, which studio picks up distribution, and various platform release dates. Even better, if site visitors could register their interest in seeing a film, perhaps it would spur distribution of exciting and interesting titles.

Apparently, Against the Current got a one week release in parts of the US earlier this year. Lovely - never heard about it. Apparently it was an IFC On Demand release. Okay - I hardly know that schedule. At some unknown point in the future, it might be available to rent. Let's see if I remember to watch it when that day comes.

Fun trailer for the day

Pretty much all my favorite French actors in what looks to be a really fun film: Mesrine.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My one line review? If you haven't seen it yet, go drop what you are doing and SEE IT NOW.

I'm already planning on seeing it again, as are most people I've talked to. It's brilliant, it's complex, it's fun, it's emotional, it's stunningly beautiful. (I'm not sure about IMAX conversion - I tend to lump it with 3-D conversion, but I trust Wally Pfister and Christopher Nolan, so I plan to see it this next time in IMAX).

Most of what had me excited in the long build up to the release was the cast that was assembled. I really admire every actor in the cast and absolutely everyone is terrific. (Well, I didn't know Dileep Rao before now, but he's fine.)

I also really admired how little was let out about the film during the entire process. So. If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor, try to block out modern media and just go. You'll love it.

You can read these if you need to know a little more:

Wally Pfister Interview

Tom Hardy Interview

Cinematical Review

SlashFilm Review

First Showing Review

Keeping it all in perspective

And for Christopher Nolan's next act.... (David Tennant! David Tennant!)

As for the ending....


My personal interpretation is that the top falls. But I fully acknowledge that I am choosing to believe that. I want a happy ending for Leo. I want the heist to have been pulled off.

I don't care that the kids are in the same clothes, because who buys a gigantic wardrobe for kids? Children re-wear clothing.

Furthermore, why would the top have fallen down in the reality world if it were actually the first level of Cobb's dreaming? Why would the totem work sometimes and not others?

I find it interesting that some people point out Cobb's walking away as positive growth for his character. I actually find that decision to be the scariest part about the end, and the most pointing for him still being trapped in limbo. To me, it says he no longer cares if he is in limbo or not, because he is so happy to see his children's faces. Although, perhaps the fact that he can see them points to it being reality. If he could never see their faces in his dreams before, then maybe seeing them is the most telling clue that he did wake back up into reality.

I also find it interesting that a number of theories on the web are either Cobb was in reality at the start and finish of the movie, or everything that we thought was reality in the movie is actually the first dream layer. I came out thinking that the start of the movie is definitely in reality, but that the ending was ambiguous.

I like the idea of Ellen Page being his therapist and working him through his issues, but I don't think it holds. I think people can help each other through issues without the entire construct being a set-up. Particularly considering the team's sanity depends on it.

That is another reason I think the start of the film is definitely reality. Were it Cobb's subconcious from the get go, then I wouldn't really care about the other team members as much as characters. They would simply be projections. And that would also mean that two sets of projections could exist in a dream state. For example, at the start of Saito's dream, the other characters in the house would be Saito's projections, but Arthur (and then Lucas Haas) would be Cobb's. Although I suppose that would work, since Cobb brings Mal into other people's dreams.

Hmmmm.... so much to ponder....


What the stars think (Movieline). Cillian Murphy, of course, declining to comment like the smart man he is.

A fairly clear walk-through from Dileep Rao (Vulture)

THIS is a great summation (First Showing). The graphic is super helpful in terms of thought process (yes, the movie is easy and straight forward to watch, but it's a lot to reflect back on).

Damon Lindelof's theory

Cleolinda's thoughts

Six interpretations and five plot holes (Cinematical). I disagree with his interpretation, obviously, but it's a nice round up of what people are saying. Also, for theoretical plot hole 1: I think this can be explained by the fact that Arthur is the dreamer for the hotel level, so it is only his dream that is affected by the loss of gravity in the van dream. Eames is dreaming the snow fortress from the hotel, not the van, so the fortress doesn't lose gravity.

The myth of a perfect film (Roger Ebert)

A reflection on the unveiling of the film (NYTimes)

Apart from the articles on the criticism/reception, and what the ending meant, there's been discussion also on how it will impact hollywood business models. The summary piece above links to one good Cinema Blend article, and here's another from SlashFilm.


God bless Boston for being so far behind the times. I didn't miss Agora while I was abroad. It comes out at the Kendall this weekend. YAY!

Box Office

While I fell behind in my own personal ranking in predicting the box office (there was a mix-up the weekend I came home from abroad and I missed out on the TS3 revenue), I would just like to brag that my theater chain (the Grindhouse 20) not only won the week, but also beat Illuminati's Illusion in a match and we are the first chain to do so. Right now, they are the only chain ranked higher than ourselves. Woo!

By the by, my theater is named the Carnivale. Hee.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Doctor Who

I am totally digging on Doctor Who this season. I think Matt Smith is fabulous. And while I think the first few episodes were a little uneven and the show struggled to find its feet, overall the season has been a lot of fun.

The same goes for last week's episode, the Pandorica Opens. I thought it was really fun. Even though the plot was apparent 30 seconds in. And at one point, I may have started yelling at the t.v. loud enough to disturb my housemates.

"It's the most powerful weapon in the universe..."

"It's the Doctor."

"... the most advanced military weapon ever created..."

"It's you."

"... the most cunning, most feared thing in all the universe..."


Reviews galore!

The Great Northeastern Heat Wave, which seems never-ending, has pushed me back into the cooling AC-embrace of my local theaters, so I have lots of opinions to share.

First up: Ondine. No longer in theaters, but may still be available On Demand. Otherwise, it shouldn't be too long before it is on Netflix. This is directed by Neil Jordan, who also did Interview with a Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto, which I love. It was filmed around County Cork (which surprised me - I had guessed it was all out West). Either way, the scenery is stunningly gorgeous and Jordan and his cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, take the time to show off the natural beauty of the region. It is a gorgeous film to watch.

The film centers around Syracuse, a down-on-his-luck fisherman (well played by Colin Farrell who suppresses his normal manic energy). He pulls a girl out of the water one day and his handicapped daughter believes the girl to be a Selkie, or Celtic mermaid. Selkies have definitive rules associated with them (I'd like to thank my Mermaid book from when I was a child for familiarizing me with the legend), and the enigmatic girl seems to fit these rules. While the film is partially a magical fairy-tale, it stays grounded enough in reality to keep from becoming too precious. Most of the realism stems from Syracuse's relationship with his ex-wife and his struggle to overcome a hard-drinking past in order to support his daughter.

Ondine isn't a great drama, but for a whimsical, lovely diversion, it is certainly well worth watching.

Finally, is Stephen Rea in every single Irish film that comes out?

4/5 stars

I really enjoyed this one. I had been craving a big, hulking action movie for the summer (having missed Prince of Persia and unwilling to subject myself to the A-Team or Jonah Hex), and I found it. This movie is an absolute blast, and stands out all the more for being released in the midst of a disappointing summer. It's also a fine example of rebooting a series done correctly. The film references the original, steers clear of the general mess of Aliens vs. Predators, and gives the fan base what they want. A great update for modern day.

The film immediately drops us into its world without any unnecessary back story. And I mean that literally - the opening shot is Adrien Brody waking up in free fall before his chute deploys and he crashes into a harsh alien jungle. In fact, an entire team of killers (and one doctor) from Earth have been deposited on this alien world in what they quickly realize is a game preserve.

The director, Nimrod Antal, uses the Jaws technique to ratchet up the tension for the first act. The threat is never seen. The audience knows that at some point the alien (or shark) is going to pop out, but not being able to guess when exponentially increases the pressure. The characters are solid and somewhat developed, which was surprising for cannon fodder. (In fact, I think a lot of the audience derived pleasure from trying to guess the kill order.)

The action sequences are incredibly well shot. Adrien Brody manages admirably in the lead (although I quite liked him in King Kong, so I didn't find that surprising). Most of the team is really good, in fact. Alice Braga and Oleg Taktarov are particular standouts as an Israeli sniper and Russian soldier, respectively. The only weak link is Laurence Fishburn as a multi-year survivor on the planet. His crazy loner act didn't quite cut it for me.

One more note, but it qualifies as a spoiler, so scroll-over text is in use here: I loved Topher Grace in the film. However, one reviewer had described the team as a bunch of killers and a doctor, who isn't what he seems. That is what we call a spoiler, genius. Anyways, so I knew going in that Topher Grace would turn out to be a serial killer, but I really enjoyed his performance anyways. His biggest scene felt like it was cut a little short, but that's a minor quibble and probably stems from how much I enjoyed the character.

5/5 stars. It's not perfect or game-changing, but I think it accomplishes everything it sets out to do and it's probably the most fun I've had at the movies this summer.

The Girl Who Played with Fire
In order to review this one, I need to clarify my relationship with the series. I've read all the books. I was one of those crazy people who ordered the final installment from England to hurry up and find out what happened. I loved the first film and the second book is my favorite of the series.

The brief plot synopsis is that Lisbeth returns from abroad only to have a gun with her fingerprints on it be used in a murder. She becomes Sweden's public enemy number one, while Blomkvist uses his research skills to try and exonerate her. Along the way, we learn more about Lisbeth's family history.

Given my background going into the film, I found it a tad disappointing. I feel this could be a for a few reasons:
1 - I am comparing it to the first film, which had a different director and was better constructed.
2 - I am comparing it to the book, which I really loved. It is much harder to live up to that standard in a book to film adaptation.
3 - The first film had an easier plot to shoot, as it centered around a pretty standard locked-room murder mystery. The Girl Who Played with Fire is much more sprawling, which is difficult to adapt.
4 - While I don't mind Lisbeth and Mikael being apart in the books, their separation bugs me more in a visual medium because they aren't playing off each other. What does work really well for me in this film is still Noomi Rapace, who is stunning as Lisbeth. She gives incredible depth to a nearly mute character. However, in the book, we do get Lisbeth and Mikael's thought processes as they work, which drives the reader along more.
5 - The film ends on a cliffhanger, which is obviously a tough way to end a movie, since the audience doesn't get any resolution.

My largest problem with the film is that the book was a serious page turner. I could not put it down, whereas I feel that the movie drags. The audience I was with was definitely becoming restless by the end, which was not the case in the first film at all. I realize it must have been incredibly difficult to turn such a large book into a movie, even a long one, and I'm not entirely sure what I would have done differently to keep the tension up during the last hour. But the end result is that this film is not as taut as the first and doesn't live up to the experience of reading the book.

I'd love to know what an uninformed viewer thought. Perhaps part of the thrill of the reading experience was learning all of the new information about Lisbeth and her past. Seeing the film already knowing how it turns out and what clue comes next may kill that tension. Maybe a fresh perspective would mean a much more exciting film.

3/5 stars, because I adore getting more Lisbeth.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Another Hole in the Head fest is on in San Francisco. It has Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. I am jealous.

Boston, meanwhile, still does not have Prince of Persia (BOOOO), but it does have the Girl who Played with Fire, Perrier's Bounty, Evil Dead, and Predators opening tomorrow. Plus I am Love is still running and I have yet to see. (Ditto Ondine, but that is on On Demand, as well).

SO super excited for the Girl who Played with Fire. Noomi Rapace is my new hero.

The Boston French Film Fest is also on this month. It has Heartbreaker, which I seem to remember hearing good things about from Cannes. It also has Farewell, which is supposed to be a good spy thriller and the Concert, which looks too fluffy for me. I think my awareness of the latter stems solely from Melanie Laurent's inclusion in the film. I should probably take the time to research some of the other films playing, but there is so much good stuff on at the Brattle and stuff to catch up on from netflix, that I doubt I will.

Otherwise, been on mostly a catch-up-on-tv streak after my vacation. Long marathons of Doctor Who, Breaking Bad, True Blood, Burn Notice, FlashForward and Veronica Mars. I really should start the Wire and Battlestar Galactica, too... in all that spare time of mine.

Saw Twist, which is a version of Oliver Twist set amongst teenage hustlers in Toronto. It needed developing, but was an interesting premise and it featured a good lead performance by Nick Stahl. It stands out, however, for an emotionally horrific scene towards the end, which I don't think I'll ever be able to scrub out of my brain. *shudder*

Also saw Peacock, which was a performance in search of a better film. Really, save yourself the hassle and watch Breakfast on Pluto instead.

And finally, saw A Perfect Getaway, which was in no way a thriller, since the ending was pretty apparent from 5 minutes in, but was an entertaining enough summer movie. I'll watch Timothy Olyphant read a phone book. Or hike through pretty Hawaiian scenery. Whatever.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I was going to go see Prince of Persia tonight (you know, campy big screen, brainless action and abs to start the long weekend) and it has LEFT BOSTON. Iron Man 2 and fucking ROBIN HOOD are still around. But no Jake Gyllenhaal. I am disappointed. Boo.