Sunday, June 10, 2012

Movie Review Haiku


Eric Bana dies.
Pointlessly. Cate Blanchett too.
It just missed my heart.

Night Watch

In nightmare Russia
It is still the seventies.
But look, there's Buffy!

(Ezra Pound would have
worked in Purgatorio
Canto XXVI)

Take Shelter

I anticipate
A zombie apocalypse.
No such luck. Bummer.


As the boss giant
Caught up with the Landrover:
There was an earthquake.


Probably neither of you have seen any of these movies, so there's no point me adding more spoilery comments, but I have these thoughts going through my head and I can't sleep, so just to expand a wee bit...

Hannah started with amazing promise. But it just sort of ... faded away. Not at any particular point, it just gradually dulled from something extraordinary to something ordinary. Maybe that was intentional; but if that was the idea it was a pretty lame idea, filmmaking peeps.

I am used to seeing movies set in big cities with faces from every corner of the globe. But Moscow is white, white, white. It was a culture shock. I thought the plot of Night Watch was marvellous and the special effects were spot on: no CGI for the sake of CGI or impossible action sequences, just solid realistic phantasmagoria where realistic phantasmagoria were called for.

If Take Shelter is in any way an accurate picture of employment security, medical care, and the general mood in working-class Great Recession America, it is really chilling. It made me want to hug all the living Cabinet and ex-Cabinet Members of our country. Thank you! (By the way, the other night I dreamed I somehow accidentally got through an air-conditioning duct into Kevin Rudd's office and he was really nice to me. I told him I thought he had been a great Foreign Minister (which I do) and he was very humble and gracious in reply and didn't seem to mind me coming into his office through the air-conditioning duct). One thing that didn't ring true in the movie was the fight between the main protagonist and his ex-best-friend at the Lions' Club dinner: in an equivalent situation here, I know at least a dozen blokes would be instantly out of their seats to get them to calm down or take it outside in a spontaneous collective blokey way. I'm sure it would be the same in small-town America. Surely. But in the movie they all stay sitting down like stuffed aardvarks and only the wives of the combatants interfere.

BTW, It was great to watch not knowing anything about it and expecting it to turn into a zombie apocalypse movie at any moment. But I've ruined that experience for you. :(

The interesting philosophical thing in Trollhunter is how the trolls can smell Christian blood. This would not be a problem if you were a hardboiled no-nonsense atheist, or someone who doesn't think at all, or a serious Muslim or Jew to whom it would make perfect sense for God to curse Christians for blasphemously associating Him with a son; but I think if you were an average semi-thoughtful agnostic the effect of any evidence that trolls are, in fact, attracted to Christian blood would be to make you think 'hmm, there must be something to this Christianity after all'. So Kalle the cameraman is in a terrible bind. Probably, quite honestly, at the beginning he is so weak and watery a Christian that he can say without lying that he isn't: but as they go along he can't help but believe more, and then when they are trapped in the mine he gets into a terrible positive feedback loop where the more trolls notice him, the more he believes, so the more they notice him, so the more he believes...

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