Visiting Southern California during the writer's strike, I felt a bit disengaged from watching anything on the telly. I did catch the last episodes of a few programs, only to feel a bit "lost", will there be a season catch up? I missed out on catching Lost's new season, will they ever leave the island? will they return to the island? Why is Matthew Fox wearing a bush on his face? Poor Dominic Monaghan, down in the depths...
And with the non-stop travel hither and thither, add to that three storms lashing the northern california coast, I didn't catch as many movies as I promised I would. What did I see? Let me recount the reels:
- Finally saw The Kingdom and Mr. Brooks, rentals that my family up north chose, not to mention a movie about another possible explanation for Arthur, unfortunately the title eludes me; it had Colin Firth though so that's all good. I did enjoy watching the Kingdom, even with the ambiguity worked into the plot. There isn't a resolution, no bad men are really caught. Granted the FBI guys were cast as heroes, but you wonder, would they have made any difference in a real life situation?
As for Mr. Brooks, a sympathetic look into the life of a serial killer? Because you do wonder about those folks who seem to have it all, but maybe in the dark, they turn into werewolves. And their spawn are just as venal.
- There will be blood. I've written before of my groupie status for DDL, so I won't go into it here. He was fantastic, and was rarely out of frame; kudos to the performances of Paul Dano as the creepy preacher Ely, and the quiet intensity of the child actor who plays JW. The overall story was missing something, as R and I dissected it after the show, we were just getting into one subplot when it would dissipate and we'd have to follow another. Was the disjunction a plot trick? Or are we too used to focusing on one major path, forgetting that a man's life is a collective of actions that lead towards a culminating disaster? If you catch the film look out for the blazing derrick scene, and the bowling alley scenes. He is done.
- Into the Wild, Balls of Fury, Jane Austen Book Club, and the Nanny Diaries. Grateful for a bump up to business class, I settled into watching movies; it was a series of choices that made me look closely at my consumption, fall asleep, and twitch with annoyance over certain feminine traits. I loved Into the Wild, and Emile Hirsch has gravitated from playing the boy who dates a porn star to an emaciated philosopher living off the land. It is a tragic film, but I took away two lines from it: "Forgiveness is love" (and in light of a recent situation in my own life, I feel like I've been shown a great deal of love) and "Happiness is only real when it's shared" - how true, and how sad that he had to realize it too late. I hope the spirit of Alexander Supertramp finds peace knowing he might help a person or two to gain truth through less things. It made me want to get rid of a lot of material goods in my own life (one of my 2008 plans in any case).
The rest of the movies were barely negligible; best not to spend even the price of a fake dibidi for them.