Monthly Archives: August, 2008

A few movies from the last few months

Just out of interest…

Chronicles of Riddick: I was inspired to re-watch this after reading a post about how bad it was as a sequel to Pitch Black. I loved Black, but I actually saw it after Riddick so perhaps my reference frame is a bit skewed. For me, they are best viewed as essentially separate movies, since that’s what they feel like. Yes, if you’re looking for more of the sparse, mildly terrifying, barely-any-scenery action of Black, I can see why you might be disappointed. But I just adore Riddick. I love the crazy costumes, I adore Crematorium as a planet, the mercenary is hilarious, and – was it Karl Urban? – he and his missus are basically Macbeth and his lady in space, which is always going to be a winner with me.

Henry V: I thought for a while there I was going to go through a little Shakespeare on the silver screen mode, but have decided against it. I did, however, watch this – the Brannagh version, with a little Emma Thomspon cameo that I wasn’t expecting. I haven’t ever read or seen this one, and had even forgotten that it was the one set at Agincourt until it actually started. I have a story about Hamlet and cliches which I’ll recount sometime, but it applies equally here: there were so many of them! Seriously, there were a good few times where, after the first line was said, I knew what the response or capping line would be because it was so well known. I’m no Bard-idolator, but my goodness the man knew how to write a pithy phrase.

Cleopatra: oh me, oh my. How could I have called myself a lover of antiquities or an old-film buff without having seen Liz, Richard and Rex doing their thing in this insane extravagance of a movie? I got the 4-hour version, split over 2 discs, from BigPond, and the split is basically right in the middle of the movie – and about 5 minutes after the death of Caesar, thus almost exactly split between Harrison (quite an old Caesar, which was probably about right actually) and Burton (oh, lovely lovely voice!). One quite weird thing about watching this is that I knew pretty much every detail of what was going to happen, before it got on screen. There aren’t that many books-turned-film where I can do that, so it was an unusual experience. Liz was a bit too over the top as Cleopatra, for me; the sets were stupendous though.

Dark Knight: actually in the cinema! You don’t need me to tell you about it; if you haven’t seen it, you should, if you are an action fan. If you’re not an action fan, you likely won’t like it. You should know, though, that my appreciation of Ledger as the Joker has zero to do with the fact that he is dead. That performance was breath-taking.

Charlie Wilson’s War: had wanted to see this at the cinema, and didn’t manage to. I am so-so towards Hanks, but thought he was marvellous in this role. Julia Roberts, too. She looked a lot older than last time I saw a picture of her, or saw her in a movie. I was impressed that the movie mentioned the screw-up of reconstruction the US made of Afghanistan (does this haunt them today, I wonder? – I mean, I know policy makers must have thought about it when the US invaded (some of them anyway), but is it part of the reason for sticking around in Iraq so long?), but thought that section could have made the point much more forcefully. And there was no mention of bin Laden, which was something of a surprise. Brilliant movie, anyway.

There have been others… but that’s enough ruminating for now.

I’m back!

Yeh, so my daft blog did mad things for a few weeks there – months, perhaps. Yurk. However, the fabulous Dave – he who hosts this what you’re reading – managed to fix it.

It did lose my categories, though. I’m trying to figure out whether I should set up new ones, or not.