Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Futures Past

I owe Brando a post. Here it is. Short and not so sweet.

I don't think that I have to write about Star Trek Into Darkness. It is a film with no integrity. There are a few thrills and a little bit of swollen excitement in the service of teen boy fantasies. Admittedly, I might have loved this steaming pile of spaceturd when I was 10 or so. There's enough in it to keep interest and I might have even been generous and given it three stars instead of two, but I can't forgive the blatant misogyny of having a shot of a woman undressing and standing in her underwear, which shot adds NOTHING to the plot of the movie. There is no reason for it except to titillate young boys. Bah humbug.

Computer Chess, I've mentioned repeatedly to Brandon, has captured my imagination. It is an alternative Terminator in which there is no violent Skynet robot uprising because the robots have already won. Computer Chess outlines the seeds of revolution that led to our current science fiction reality of constantly tending to our electronic masters, serving them feasts of electricity and showering them with our loving devotion. In a world in which everyone has forgotten how to look one another in the eye, we program our machines to play our games for us, hoping that the machines will win.

Prisoners is a good thriller. It reminded me of Tell No One and a couple of other recent thrillers like it; solid puzzle pictures that resolve nicely if a little too neatly.

Gravity was much better than I had anticipated but it has also been grating on me more and more. Cuaron's use of symbolism seemed hackneyed and frustratingly empty. Uhlich, on Letterboxd, nailed it: "Cuaron knows the theological symbols, but he can't imbue them with a true sense of spirit. He's almost always posing and you can sense it." Yep.

Madame De is a pretty empty film. A man has an affair. His wife has an affair. There's a pair of earrings involved. There's a lot of dancing and flirting. Sorry, Brandon, I stand by my "silly infidelities" comment. There's just not all that much going on here that's worth revisiting.

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