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Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Perhaps

09 Jul

the best TV show ever made is Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry’s Jeeves and Wooster. Granted, P.G. Wodehouse was a comic genius, so the material was fantastic in the first place (and his “Blandings” books are both hilarious and grossly under-rated–“If Pigs Had Wings” is my favorite. Wodehouse was not exactly charitable towards women and his treatment of “Monica the pig girl” in that series is typical for him. A classic line from that book is paraphrased as what was said to the portly Greg; “And lay off the pink gins, Greg, because a woman marrying you has, at the moment of going to press, the uncomfortable feeling she’s committing bigamy.” Inspired.) . But still, the Jeeves and Wooster stuff is WAY worth having. I’ve watched it several times, and it never gets a bit old. If you haven’t watched it, you should.

A funny line (among many) I just saw was something like, “You could stand in the most populated part of London and randomly hurl bricks for 30 minutes without being in danger of hitting a woman who would voluntarily become Mrs. Fink-Nottle.”

 
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Posted in Films, Humor, Literature

 

I just watched

04 Jun

“Rocketman” again. It is truly one of the under-apreciated comedies of our time. A few tidbits:

“…What was the rest of it?”

“Sounds like fun. Fun is my Chinese neighbor’s middle name!”

“I wish now I hadn’t had that liverwurst and head cheese sandwich.”

“If you do it what I like to call ‘the right way’…”

(Mom and dad watching the liftoff on TV)
Mom: “Oooh, I hope I packed him enough underwear!”
Dad: “Don’t worry. He’s packing his own underwear now.”

 
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Posted in Films

 

What I don’t like

27 Jan

About “les Miserables.” First, Let me say that it is a great show. I have read the book twice and have seen the Broadway show once. I also have the soundtrack. So it is not like I am unfamiliar with the whole gig.

There are, however, some problems with the story. First, the characters are just not believable. I mean, why is Javert even tracking Valjean now? It really makes no sense. Valjean was properly released! The theft from the Bishop was dismissed and the issue with little Gervais was minor to the point of irrelevancy (and not even mentioned in the stage show). Like most characters in the production, Javert is just a distorted caricature, and  a grossly exaggerated caricature at that. Have you ever met anyone like him? Nor have I. I’m not sure that such a person even exists now or ever has. Same with Valjean and Fantene. The Thenardiers are exclusively horrible. Everything is geared to pull the heartstrings, and it is frankly manipulative. How their daughter (Eponine Thenardier) turned out to be good is a mystery, and it’s probably a manifestation of a biological reductionism (and probably rooted in the thinking of 1862, when the book was first published).

Second, there is kind of a juvenile and nonsensical black-and-white thinking throughout the entire production. Valjean whines that he was imprisoned for “stealing a mouthful of bread,” but this is pure malarky. In truth he broke into a house and stole someone else’s property. It was a “hot” robbery. He was imprisoned for short time because of this crime, and then repeatedly tried to escape. Uh, NOT innocent. Yet in the story you are either with the “good guys” (Valjean) or the “bad guys” (Javert)  There’s no nuance at all. Yes, that is related to the first problem.

Third, the whole setup is to justify bad behavior and disparage good behavior. Talk about turning things on their heads and calling good evil and evil good! There is no vice (other than Javert and the Thenardiers), only misunderstood virtue (see: Fantine). Javert and the Thenardiers are really the only evil ones in the story.

Finally, the production is unabashedly (and unapologetically) leftist. Jacobin, really (what else would you expect from Victor Hugo and a story about the French Revolution?). That’s part and parcel of the third objection, above.

That’s not to say it is NOT an entertaining show. It is (though I thought the stage production was better than the book, which I found to be quite tedious). But let’s not think that we get truth value out of it–we don’t (or at least none in the overarching themes). I’m glad (the fictional) Valjean changed, but let’s face it, this is an argument for the perfectibility of human beings–a common theme of the left.

While I can like the music, I should not be confused about this yielding truth. There is a lot of art that I like that is either false or otherwise bogus.

 

 
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Posted in Films, Political Philosophy

 

More

24 Nov

appeasement. I guess you lick the hand that feeds you, eh?

 
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Posted in Buffoons, Films

 

I just heard that

31 Oct

George Lucas sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney. But I have one question for Lucas:

Why do you hate us so?

He has chronically bastardized those movies. Coercive bastardization.

Disney will do far better than Lucas ever did (he was/is a total idiot). You can’t even buy the originals anymore. Thanks, George, for foisting  your PC crap on us. Charming in a Gestapo sort of way…

 
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Posted in Films, Lefty coercion

 

I saw the movie “Tangled” yesterday, and

31 Dec

I was surprised at how decent it was. It had pretty good music, a decent villain  (a bit one-dimensional and not as good as Ursula in “The Little Mermaid,” but that is a level rarely attained), and while the story was a bit tired, it was a good film. I thought the horse stole the show. The scene with her watching the floating lanterns was excellent. All in all, it was worth the money, and few are the modern films one can say that about.

 
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Posted in Films

 

Review of the movie

01 Jun

“How to Train Your Dragon.”

Basically, it was fair to middling. Trite, overwrought story that you’ve seen a thousand times. Boy is right and wants dad’s approval (what is it with the writers and their father hang-ups?) but is “different” and can’t get it. Girl is more traditional but finally comes to believe in boy. Yeah, girl is pretty dang masculine… Dad finally is proven wrong and comes to be proud of boy. Ho hum, gee, we’ve never seen THAT before… There was not much particularly clever, though there were a few laughers that the parents would get.

The story itself didn’t hang together in parts for me. But I can see that what happened was necessary for the story itself (not for the story trajectory).

The animation was good. The technical aspects were good, and we’ve come to expect that animated films will be technically good. I thought the story itself was weak. The great thing is that this movie is rated as one of the best on the internet sites. Huh.

Given how much it costs to take your family to the movies, I thought this was definitely a “Red Box” sort of show (you know, you can get movies for a buck through Red Box vending machines). A good “B” and maybe a “B-.” If you’ve got money to burn, this is OK, but for those of us counting our shekels, not so much.

 
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Posted in Films