Angels & Demons, Extended version. It was totally forgettable.
Just watched The Wrestler yesterday evening. While it's a good movie, I don't think it was as great as people said it was; yes, the acting is great, but in the end I didn't see why I should feel more sympathy for Randy than for any poor, pathetic shlub who is pretty much the root cause of his own misery. If anything, I felt more sympathy for the Pam character (the stripper); at least Randy was probably able to make money off wrestling until well into his 50s, whereas she's a hasbeen in her business at the age of 40.
Perhaps it's that I don't really like or indeed get wrestling. I find it more or less impossible not to look down on it as a tacky, tawdry form of gladiatorial combat. Yes, the guys take a hell of a beating, but somehow that's not enough for me to respect the biz.
Angels & Demons, Extended version. It was totally forgettable.
I was astounded by how violent Angels and Demons was, I was not astounded by how bad it was.
We watched Dangerous Beauty and A Scanner Darkly. The first a very good period piece, the second a visually stunning reimagining of a great story.
Confession: A Scanner Darkly makes me bawl my eyes out.
How that, dethtoll? I think it's a good film (and I love the way it looks), but it also kept me at an emotional distance throughout.
Watched Run Lola Run last weekend. Although it looks like it'll be insufferably artsy-fartsy at the beginning it quickly pulls itself into shape and is a thoroughly entertaining movie.
Also watched Boondock Saints and Michelle Yeoh/Yuen Woo-Ping wire-fu flick Wing Chun. Entertaining action in both although what people say about BS is true, the moral righteousness really makes the main characters unlikeable.
Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) is really good! Been years since I saw that, but I very much enjoyed it. Recommended.
Regarding Randy, I personally found him to be very sympathetic, although it must be said that I do have a bit of track record for empathising with big-dumb losers. (I even have sympathy for an asshole like Jake LaMotta. ). No doubt Randy is a bonehead and his own worst enemy but he is essentially a good guy. The turning point for me, as well as being my favourite scene, was his first shift at the deli counter. It's here we see a guy who just loves to entertain, more just to make people smile than for an ego boost and I respect that.
I guess Randy reminds me a bit of some of the self-destructive people I've known. Great people but they can never quite get their shit together. I don't make excuses for their flaws and behaviour but it's equal parts maddening and heartbreaking to not see them tap into their potential.
Last edited by Angel Dust; 17th Nov 2009 at 05:54.
As I mentioned, I usually find it easy enough to have some sympathy for big-dumb losers. Perhaps I draw the line at people who bring it on themselves 100%; thinking about it, I feel more sympathy for a Travis Bickle (who, in objective terms, is much, much worse than Randy could ever be) because he's been fucked up by the world as much as he fucks it up. Does that make sense? To a large extent I felt about Randy roughly the way I feld about Mark Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights - it's fascinating to watch the two, in that driving-by-a-horrible-car-crash way, but they fully embraced the things that brought them low. Perhaps it's that I didn't feel all that much of a struggle to adapt in those two characters; more so with Randy, but even his struggle remains pretty weak. Does that make any sense? (I'm afraid my thoughts are all over the place at the moment.)
Don't get me wrong, I think Randy is a complete idiot and he brings it all on himself but I think my sympathy for him comes from the fact that he seems like genuinely good guy. Diggler didn't have that and obviously Bickle doesn't but he is, as you pointed out, sympathetic for other reasons and more importantly that film also does a great job of getting you to empathise with him as well. I also agree that Randy's struggle was weak and the weak script is largely to blame. It was too concerned with getting the characters from Plot Point A to Plot Point, particularly during the scenes with his daughter, than with just exploring them.
I guess I didn't really care about any of the characters all that much. Like many of the Philip K. Dick stories that I've read, they affect me intellectually but not emotionally.
Edit: I've only read his short stories, though, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which I didn't really get into all that much.
Last edited by Thirith; 17th Nov 2009 at 06:50.
I think Dick's novels exist far more as emotional works than cerebral ones, especially in the context of sci-fi as a genre. His narrative is so drenched in paranoia and loneliness (a theme that pops up in a lot of his books), I can certainly understand how they can be very upsetting.
With A Scanner Darkly being so autobiographical, I think it is an especially raw experience, and in particular is more deeply effecting than other works of his. It's a fairly terrific film, and one I felt was much closer to his style than Blade Runner or Minority report.
So far (3 episodes in) has been very fun, though the Trinity Killer is a bit more grisly than I'm used to for Dexter.
Yeah I thought that too. Then I thought about how grim the whole concept is and remembered how Dex behaved in series 1&2 and he was just as bad, they've backed off from showing his exhilaration when he kills.
Also Rita is a useless wife but a total fox.
I've recently seen Bruno, which had a couple of great set ups, and Star Trek which was totally implausible regarding the insta-promotions but an interesting reboot in that they really rebooted. No Klingons though
Anyone remember Meet the Feebles? Peter Jackson's best work, lol. I have been SICK today, and this was my medicine (laughter being the best...and all that).
Oh yeah, I went on a DVD spending spree recently and picked up Cidade De Deus, Gomorrah, Night Watch / Day Watch and Star Trek (blu-ray).
Only rewatched ST so far and still enjoyed the shit out of it. It's my daughter's new favourite movie. I'm going to pick up Khan and First Contact on BR this week.
The hunter sequence was uncomfortably staged.
Guy who is famous/rich for outrageous "real" footage isn't going to immediately admit to staging shit? Really?
The swinger party was also edited together to convey a series of events that didn't actually happen.
I'm just saying to an observer there were very noticeable differences in the reactions to what one would've expected in certain segments that led me to strongly believe they're staged.
Just an opinion, bub.