We Thought You Was a Toad

DSCF3184It’s been too long since I last watched O Brother Where Art Thou, but I did watch it again last night. Boy, what a brilliant movie. Even ignoring lots of lovely Bluegrass music and all the good that it did for the Bluegrass Revival, the idea for the movie is just brilliant, and so is the realization and acting.

There’s an ever-growing list of I should watch this one again, or that one. I guess I should. Forest Gump could be next in line.

Red October

DSCF3674Following Tom Clancy’s recent demise, I was reminded on The Hunt for Red October. I’ve seen and liked the movie a few times, so now I got the e-Book onto my Kindle for only £0.99. At this price, I didn’t mind terrible spelling mistakes, according to one reviewer. (I noticed only a few.)

I enjoy the book even though I cringe at the truly terrible description of most technical details, particularly when it comes to computer technology. I guess this was pretty hard to imagine in 1984, fair enough.

I also watched the movie again. The movie condenses 440 pages into 135 minutes, so I expected some Hollywood-esque dramatization and simplification of the plot.

Well. well. well. I have watched movies for which I knew the book before, and generally find the book superior. Never before have I seen such a discrepancy though. It’s like someone read the book a long time ago, summarized if from memory within 3 minutes, and somebody else then turned this report into a movie script. Needless to say that the Americans can defend themselves in the movie, no need to call in the British allies.

I can only recommend that you read the book if you like the movie. While you’d quickly understand why Tom Clancy was never awarded the Pulitzer Price or Nobel Price for literature, it’s a good page-turner type of read. You can always mumble in your head whenever Sean Connery Captain Ramius speaks.

 

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Indicator for Greatness

DSC_1174I lost count of how many times I watched Apollo 13 or the Space Cowboys. When the audio system fails, I can provide words, sound effects and music to the Local Hero or The Commitments without fail, and quotes from When Harry Met Sally make frequent appearances in our daily routine.

I watched many other movies only once. Most, because they weren’t that great, but some were viewed only once because they are so great. I often think I should really watch one of these again, but somehow never quite get the nerve together:

Roberto Benigni’s brilliant Life is Beautiful.

Clint Eastwood’s heart breaking Million Dollar Baby.

Even Danny DeVito’s War of the Roses left a permanent mark.

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Avatar & Co

myself I guess the makers of Avatar never set out to make the world a better place, but with the news from the Oscars just in earlier this week, I can’t help wondering:

The movie cost between 240 and 300 million US dollars to make. Amazing, if you think about it. In terms of box office revenue, it made well over 2.6 billion US dollars so far (according to this site). That is US$ 2,600,000,000, and growing. Not to speak of merchandise and DVD sales.

More than a year’s pay, even including the bonus!

And this is just one of many big money-spinning movies. While the crowds enjoy watching the fate of the Earth-like planet Polyphemus in 3D, I can’t help thinking what all this this money could have done in our present, real and truly three dimensional world. $2,600,000,000. That’s enough to fix a lot of things in this world. Instead, we squander it away in 2 hours 40 minutes, accompanied by a bucket of sticky popcorn.

Maybe intelligent life exists somewhere in the Universe. On a whole, we don’t seem to have much of it on this planet.

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Capitalism

ECNV00035 The advert carries a lovely tag line, which made me look it up: a new movie by documentary maker Michael Moore, called Capitalism: A Love Affair. This could be something worth watching out for, and quite possibly something worth watching.

I watched the trailer and wasn’t entirely sure if I liked it. Maybe not a case for £10 at the movie theatre (especially since our local movie house has been demolished, and reconstruction has come to a standstill ever since).

Out in UK cinemas February 26th, DVD release May 24th.

The tagline? Oh, yes:

Because it is not about what your C.E.O. can do for you, but what you can do for your C.E.O.

Yeah. That rings true.

 

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The Time Traveller’s Wife

71-Aquilea - 01 Courtesy of Quantas Airways, I have now seen the movie to Audrey Niffenegger‘s brilliant novel The Time Traveller’s Wife. I have read the book and loved it. I didn’t expect much from the movie, for I was very doubtful how and if they can possibly do the book justice (as I voiced earlier).

I guess I just wanted to kill time on a 24 hour journey, but I am glad I tuned into this movie.

I still have a lump in my throat. The movie is just as lovely and just as sad as the book. Read it, and watch it.

Funny that Audrey Niffenegger doesn’t want to see it. "Once I signed away the rights I had just had to let go," Niffenegger told The Associated Press. I presume this means she assumes they won’t do the book justice, and screw-up the movie in a way that she doesn’t want to be associated with it – or what else can the reason for distancing in advance be?

If a huge big fat screw-up is indeed what she expected, I think she should not have sold the rights. She took the money though.

Go on, Audrey. Watch the movie. It’s OK. (But better avoid the TV series, if they really make one.)

 

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The Staging Difficulties of Peer Gynt

statues In Educating Rita, the famous exam question is Suggest how you would resolve the staging difficulties inherent in a production of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. (script)

I notice they have now turned Audrey Niffenegger‘s brilliant novel The Time Traveler’s Wife into a movie. I can’t help wondering how they resolve the staging difficulties inherent in this book.

A good reason to watch the movie, and an even better reason to read the book again.

 

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