Sunday, January 04, 2009

Watched quite a few movies in the past couple weeks.

Saw Revolutionary Road on New Years Day. The novel is one of a few that I've appreciated enough to have read twice, so I approached the movie with some hesitation. I've also been watching Mad Men enough to see the many parts of the novel that were repackaged or repurposed or otherwise used in that TV show--this point is explicitly acknowledged in the commentary for the season 1 DVDs.

Anyway, Revolutionary Road the movie is not bad, but the lead actors overshadow everything else and the direction is perhaps a bit too stagey for my taste. I feel bad that viewers may dismiss the novel on the basis of the movie and its unfortunate timing--forty something years after the novel was published and after dozens of derivative novels and films have come and gone.

Was given Bottle Rocket: the Criterion Collection DVD for xmas, and watched the film again, as well as the short and deleted scenes. The transition from short to feature length film is pretty interesting as a substantial number of plot points from the short were shot for the feature but cut. The deleted scenes are interesting for that reason but the final cut doesn't suffer for their absence.

Going back to Revolutionary Road, apparently there were a lot of extra scenes shot that didn't feature in the movie. The building a path scene was one that I was surprised not to see in the movie, but again, the movie certainly doesn't need to be longer than it is.

We also saw a fair number of other DVDs, several of which were in the popular "extended, not in theaters version". So I saw Hancock (ok, I'm not sure if it was really much better than My Super Ex-Girlfriend), Semi-Pro (some bits I laughed at but wouldn't really acknowledge as funny), and Tropic Thunder (which we saw in the theater and had trouble figuring out what bits were added). Tropic Thunder is less disgusting on a TV-sized screen (even a big one) than at the theater.

We also saw I am Legend on HBO (not for me) and The Go-Getter on demand (a good music video for M. Ward songs, a bit light on originality but overall pretty good). I also ended up seeing Valkyrie at Christmas, which is a pretty good family choice and not as bad as I thought it might be.

And, a few weeks back we saw Synecdoche, NY, which is depressing but interesting-meticulous-depressing.

Oh, I also saw Ghost Town on a plane-- it was ok, but I'm thinking there won't be too many more Ricky Gervais as leading star movies.

So on to this year--I guess we'll see if Watchmen comes out, and if it is terrible or not-terrible. And probably a bunch more things...

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