June 28th, 2009



Saw this a while ago with katlinel, but I've been lax in the posting.

We saw it in 3D, which is a first for me with the technology around nowadays. Won't be bothering with that again. It didn't add anything, got somewhat in the way, and wearing two pairs of glasses, stacked, isn't exactly fun.

On with the film. I re-read the book recently, and thought it was a good adaptation, but some bits of it seemed unnecessary. Wybie, for example. He's only there to give Coraline someone to talk to, and to explain some background about the house, none of which is necessary. Besides, Coraline can vocalise her thoughts to the Cat. The Cat seemed to scrawny to me - I expected something sleeker, more confident.

Generally speaking, though, it was good: Coraline's parents (both sets), Spinks and Forcible, and Bobinsky (who wasn't anything like how I imagined him, but good in a hugely disturbing Yellow Submarine sort of way).

The Other Mother's transformation was too rapid, though. I was hoping, from the hints in the book, that she would transform gradually, so that she becomes a dissimilar monster over time. Nope. A big, sudden, sprouting. Alas.

So: good, but I'd have preferred it to stick closer to the book.

Terminator 4

Now this is an odd film. I spent most of it thinking, Why on Earth would they do that? and despairing at the script, only to have twists at the end justify the preceding stuff. Whereas, with most action films, you happily get swept up in the mayhem with the expectation that afterwards it'll all be nonsense, here, you're disgruntled until after the fact. Strange way to make a film.

I should clarify a couple of things here. First, it's the machines that  manage to justify their insane behaviour, by having an actual plan wherein their actions make sense; the humans really are behaving like pillocks. Second, the machines' plan is hopelessly complicated and error-prone.

I was going to describe the plot, but it seems pointless to do so. Instead, I'll skip straight to the acting. Christian Bale growls his way through, making you wonder whether he should have been playing a Terminator instead. It's left to Sam Worthington to carry the film, and he does just that. It's his movie, all the way through. Think Max Beesley in Survivors. Moon Bloodgood makes a good fist of Worthington's love interest, and gets to play an active character along the way. Anton Yelchin - Chekov in the new Star Trek - is okay as Kyle Reese, I suppose, but not dynamic enough.

The action sequences are all rather good, of course, but it's not really a worthy successor to the original. In fact, I don't think it comes up to the level of T2.

weird with style

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

So, this parcel we received...

We watched it last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lots of clever word play, some excellent performances by Messrs Roth and Oldman (though Richard Dreyfuss should ask for his money back on that accent...), and yet more academic discourse from Stoppard. I'd love to see it staged, now.

Some very strange thoughts passed through my head while watching this. It's been compared to Godot, of course, and I can see why. But it was also reminding me of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey... And if the Pythons produced a spoof version of this, would we be able to tell? And, most obvious of all: Seth Green is Tim Roth's lovechild.

Plus: Now I understand kalypso_v 's icon...