17 June 2005

Looking for a spoiler -- The Forgotten

Did anyone see "The Forgotten" (the Julianne Moore, M. Night Shine-a-lemon-style one, not the one about POWs)??

I am looking for a spoiler -- what the heck was the difference between the theatrical release ending and the alternate ending?

We played the endings 5 times and couldn't figure it out (or maybe we couldn't figure out how to properly operate the DVD).

06 June 2005

STAR WARS: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH

A fun sump. Humorless and tiresome. Nearly snapped a tooth gritting my teeth when I heard the word 'mitachlorians' in the dialog. Samuel L. Jackson is not allowed to turn his head left or right, or nod up or down. Sucked all the life out of him. Would have snorted at the ideas and dialog if I had not been so exhausted watching it.

Big. Really big. Therefore, a terribly deep hole to fall into.

Heard a robot cough. Thought that was nice, until I realized he was a cyborg. Then I went back to waiting for the end.

Joins the two Matrix sequels at the bottom of the barrel that is UNDER the barrel that you usually look into the bottom of looking for bad things. Marginally better than PHANTOM MENACE and the other one, but still less entertaining than Modern Farmer or infomercials.

TOKYO GODFATHERS

A 13-week-soap-opera's-worth of plot, coincidence, and flapdoodle, with wild shifts in tone without snapping under the stress, and engaging themes, striking art, and a mixture of hyperbole and understatement that makes me green with envy. Christmas-New-Year's themes, homeless people, gangs, car crashes, cute and brute, haiku, and sweet sap.

I became enthusiastic for Japanese animated films years ago... mostly for science-fiction, robots, florid fantasy, and lurid action-opera. That stuff mostly embarrasses me nowadays, except for brief flourishes of style and color. Miyasaki's animation still charms, however [eg, SPIRITED AWAY and PRINCESS MONONOKE]. And now Satoshi Kon. I've seen two other films of his, both odd, remarkable flights of fantasy... PERFECT BLUE and MILLENNIUM ACTRESS. These two show their anime roots. TOKYO GODFATHER, on the other hand, is a modern melodrama, with only the lightest touches of fantasy... stock stereotypes exaggerated into grand scale by a VERY vigorous plot. Light-hearted and satisfying... at time, elegant and touching.

This is a fine candidate for a Rolston movie night... the sort of film most folks wouldn't think to see, and would be pleasantly surprised and charmed by.

03 June 2005

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (2004)

Okay, so I have a weakness for singing and dancing. I admit it! But this film... yuck. I think it's easier to figure out what it has going for it rather than what it doesn't.

So here's the good:
- the actress playing Christine has a lovely singing voice.
- the production design is pretty cool.

The bad:
- everything else! Where did they get this goon who plays the Phantom? He's not a good singer, and his character leaps back and forth between pouting, sulking, brooding and stalking. One minute you think you might feel sorry for him, and then he's just immature and overdramatic.

And while I admire the production design, I had to laugh at the Phantom's bachelor pad under the Paris opera house. So the guy lives in the bowels of the place, and never sees the light of day... but he has a rather fancy hovel that looks like it's out of the Victoria's Secret catalogue.

Finally: the music - Andrew Lloyd Webber, what happened to you? How can someone write Jesus Christ Superstar, which features some of the most moving music EVER, and then such drivel as this?