Monday, February 13, 2006

What have you been listening to, reading, watching?

Article 19 Film Recommendation: Match Point
There's good news and bad news about the new Woody Allen film that is getting such good press. The good news is that it's true: this is indeed his best film in many years (ok i didn't see that one with christina ricci and the kid from american pie, but please..). It's a tight, weighty story and best of all it has some marvelous touches--in the story but also, and especially, in some beautiful shots, and some inspired coverage decisions--the way he rarely shows the reactions we want to see--that hits just the right understated tone.

The bad news is that, script-wise especially, the best parts of Match Point were already treated, and better, in Crimes and Misdemeanors. And the handful of moments when it becomes obviously a Woody Allen film, when his quirks and particular devices are most apparent, that's when the film loses me the most. (Only Woody would think that there are actually lots of young good-looking tennis-playing men in london who love nothing more than opera and read Dostoevsky in their spare time.)

So, I recommend it. The last 20 minutes or so are especially great. But there were some annoying moments.
Hollywood Kisses
At, Erik Lundegaard surveys the history of film for the best kisses, apropos of 2/14 which, apparently, is some kind of holiday. I'm not really into kissing. Probably a credit to my complete lack of skills there (apparently it takes practice or something). So I don't have too many particular scenes that come to mind. But despite my personal handicap there, I think we could come up with a better list. So, what do you say--best movie kiss? As opposed to eric's cumbersome categories, I propose 2: best kiss regardless of context, and best kiss as an integral part of a good film.

Galactica Watching
It has come to my attention that some think the new Battlestar Galactica show is worth watching. I've never seen it. But Atrios has some reasonable questions and expectations for this kind of sci-fi show:
Not every science fiction show needs to be as precisely plotted as was Babylon 5, with not just the basic show mythology and long term plot planned in advance but also the major plot arcs of every character. And, even an elaborately plotted show is going to have some "filler episodes" which do little or nothing to advance the plot. However the opposite approach means that you end up with a show like the X-files which they really did just make everything up as they went along. Earthshattering developments in one episode are forgotten in the next. Seemingly important plot developments are dropped and ignored.
Still not quite sure with Galactica if they know what they're doing or if they're just making it up as they go.
That kind of make-it-up-as-they-go also doomed one of my favorite all-time shows: Twin Peaks. So, who's watching the new Galactica?

Weekend Box Office
1. The Pink Panther
2. Final Destination 3
3. Curious George
4. Firewall
5. When a Stranger Calls

How's that for originality? Out of the top 5, 2 remakes, 1 sequel, and one rehash of an old chilren's book character. And before you think about going to see the Steve Martin flick, you might want to read this: "The Death of Inspector Clouseau."

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