Thanks in no small part to the dubious and greedy little pricks that are Time Warner Cable, I’ve been away from a keyboard for almost two weeks, it seems – until I manage to settle in and into a review, here’s what I’ve caught, since then:
Duncan Jones’ Moon – I saw this just a couple of days ago, while it was running down at the Angelika on Mockingbird. And, it’s probably the only time that I can think of where a trailer’s actually advertised a film as more cryptic than it actually turned out being. The film itself is relatively upfront, sometimes to its’ detriment – neither the characters, nor we, have to do much rooting around for the answers to the questions we’re being presented, and more than once, it’s laid out in bare dialogue. The element of humor is a lot more pronounced than I’d expected, between the two Sams, which really works in in the favor of their developing relationship. Certainly, there’s more to come about this number.
Steven Spielberg’s A.I. – My opinion on this hasn’t really changed. It’s a great film until those final fifteen minutes, which introduces a weird new plot element to the mix – while the initial visuals of the robotic vehicles going over the ice-covered Manhattan are stark and stirring, it really would’ve benefited from cutting off just at their discovery of David in the ice, if Spielberg really felt the film needed that sort of bookend. And, my lord – it’s been a while, certainly, but that Blue Fairy model! If ever there was a more egregious example of a live-action/CG blend, I wouldn’t know it.
Tom Fontana’s OZ: The First Season – Well, this caused me to have a panic attack. That’s what I get for watching it all in one go.
Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience – No matter how you try to incorporate it into the story, a bad actress is a bad actress, and Sasha Grey is a terrible actress. This felt ‘unfinished,’ kind of – superfluous shots, sprinkled here and there throughout the visual monotony that Soderbergh sets up. How do you segue directly from something so well put-together as Che into this?
Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited – I’ve never been a particularly large fan of Wes Anderson. I liked Bottle Rocket, sure – but, that’s about it. Still, the second half of the film in the village and afterwords when the trio go to find their mother is probably the finest I’ve seen – outside of Bottle Rocket – from him, if you can look past the ubiquitous zoom and other weird, unintentionally (it seems) jarring editing techniques that he sees fit to incorporate, for some reason.
John Embom’s Party Down – …Is quickly becoming my favorite TV series, in this empty space between Lost seasons. But – and let’s be honest, here – I’m not the only one who can’t help but go “I’m gunna make you take yer’ medicine, Danny Boy!” when I see Steven Weber, am I?