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A Coupla Films

Let’s see, what have I watched lately?

A Sound of Thunder. I can’t say it was all bad. I mean, those primate/reptile predator critters were pretty cool. Imaginatively conceived preadtory megafauna, yeah, I like it. But the film was also chock full of almost-good-enough CGI that, well, frankly, just wasn’t quite good enough.

But what bothered me more about this movie was what it has with so much other TV/film SF: the science comes last, if at all, and the Wow, cool! concept comes first. Except that the Wow, cool! concept isn’t so cool, and doesn’t make me go wow. I’m sorry, but this take on Time Travel isn’t new or interesting. In fact, given a slow-paced but fascinating character study that uses time travel as a vehicle for seeing humans’ dark side, and seeing an action-adventure film that uses time travel as a vehicle for having all kinds of neat critters to shoot at, I’ll go for the former every time. The whole thing about Time Waves disrupting evolution, okay, maybe, but why would it come in waves? Why would humans be the last to be affected by it? All that stuff was just silly, the simpleton clock ticking effect. Not, not, not riveting. Just annoying.

Mad Max: The Road Warrior. It felt strange to be watching this movie. I would say” again” except, to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember watching the damn thing the first time. I recognized enough to know I had done so, but couldn’t really remember it. How’s that for weird? Anyway, the long and the short of it was that it seemed to me both timely and sad to be watching a film in which characters were fighting tooth and nail, murdering and illing, for damned oil. It felt very… yes, timely is the word.

Of course, the dialogue is dreadfully stilted. The bad guys deliver their lines with all the passion of a pumpkin. The protagonists are even a little weak: Mad Max isn’t a very deep or believable character, and I have trouble believing the feral kid became the well-spoken narrator. But it put me in mind of the idea of a film adaptation of the book Market Forces by Richard Morgan, which is in my to-read pile, but which I know the basics of because I heard an interview with him (which is why I have the book). I think it might not be fully pleasurable, but I’d like to see a film adaptation of it nonetheless.

Almost Famous. I’ve been watching this with my Media English class, and though we’re all getting a little sick of still watching the same movie — the discussion breaks are making it stretch much longer than I intended — but I really like the way the film builds up, and then dismantles, the notion of “coolness”. It’s a kind of merciful, compassionate indictment of a youth culture that revels in stupidity and that found itself experimenting with things it wasn’t ready for, not yet. It’s almost a critique o the relationships between adults and kids, really; the way we rub off on one another, affect one another, and fail to really connect in so many ways.

And of course, it has a pretty interesting (who knows if it’s accurate?) depiction of the infamous rock critic Lester Banks, too. Good movie.

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