A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Critical Summer

Edited: I finally gave this post a title. So much for blogging while very tired.

Lee's mom gave us a one-month free trial of Netflix. It's probably not the best idea for two pre-tenure professors who aren't teaching this summer so they can focus on research. But it's a great idea for two still-relatively-new parents who never, ever, make it to the movies. (A note to Jeff and Jenny and any other new parents out there: I just found out that a local theater has "baby films," with baby-friendly amenities like stroller areas and lowered movie volume. I bet Columbia has s.t. like that.)

Seen so far:
The Queen
Notes on a Scandal
Little Children
Arrested Development, Season one, disk one (#2 on the way)

Up next:
Stranger than Fiction

I actually though The Queen was pretty good. It was clear the filmmakers liked some of the characters (Elizabeth, Blair) and disliked others (Philip, Charles, Cherie Blair/Booth, Blair's top adviser whose name escapes me), and the little thread--more of an interlude, really--featuring the queen and the stag was a bit heavy-handed. But--aside from the queen/stag interlude--the movie never tried to be much other than a simple "here's what happened," with good acting, makeup, wardrobe, and sets. Not a masterpiece, but simple and well-done (if also with an agenda--but what such film doesn't?).

Notes on a Scandal was tolerable but annoying. Again, great acting, especially the boy at the heart of the scandal, who gets little notice. It's just hard to like a movie that has no likeable characters (unless that's the whole point, and in this case it wasn't).

Little Children was also pretty good. I read recently--maybe on a blog somewhere in the rhet/comp/communications sphere?--that the film was just another suburban-angst film, with the implication being that you can skip it. It's definitely got some standard-fare suburban and midlife angst, but it's also got some nicely unpredictable comic touches that make it worth at least a look: the grade-school documentary-style narrator is a hoot, as are some other great moments (like the slo-mo football game--really funny) that are strung throughout what would otherwise be too much misery and wallowing.

That's all for now (with apologies to Collin for lifting his sign-off, but I really gotta go.)

Labels: , ,


At 8:04 AM, Blogger bdegenaro said...

Netflix is the best! We've used it to watch several series that we missed when they were actually airing, including all three seasons of Arrested Development and the (sadly) one season of Undeclared. If you haven't seen the latter, it's a GREAT representation of college life, centered around dorm adventures, homesickness, and bad relationships. Very funny.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Lance said...

I haven't seen Undeclared. I remember seeing ads for it when it was on TV, but I never tuned in. I'll definitely check it out.


Post a Comment

<< Home