Sunday, January 06, 2008

Over the past week we watched a pretty decent amount of stuff from on-demand cable. Partly because M.'s injured knee needed some rest.

We saw the entire run of Extras, which I was a bit surprised that the whole series and finale were available at once. I thought it had plenty of funny bits but was definitely done with it by the time it was over. It had a few basic joke elements that were repeated a lot --and felt repeated a lot--in twelve episodes, with the finale perhaps more depressing than anything else. I can understand the impulse of some creative types using finales to euthanize ideas that have run their course. My sense is that most people who have seen Extras liked it, but it seemed to run dry pretty quickly.

I also finally saw the Science of Sleep (2006) which I thought I would like but instead found exceptionally tedious. There were many interesting visual elements but I would have been much more satisfied with a three and a half minute music video incorporating some of the ideas.

Even though I haven't really liked Gondry's feature films, I am still intrigued by the plot outline of Be Kind Rewind:
A man whose brain becomes magnetized unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend's video store. In order to satisfy the store's most loyal renter, an aging woman with signs of dementia, the two men set out to remake the lost films, which include Back to the Future, The Lion King, and Robocop.
We also saw A History of Violence (2005) which is probably good but mostly violent. I'm surprised by the award nominations it apparently got. Best screenplay? William Hurt wasn't really in it all that much?

Also I mentioned The Lookout (2007) earlier; also violent-bleak but interestingly made. I was surprised about the good notices re: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but they were well deserved.

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