I’ve been thinking about the Olympics opening ceremony for days, and better get some thoughts down before they’re obliterated by the games themselves. Many others have already got in first, of course, and it’s especially worth reading these good blog posts and Metafilter comments, as well as the thoughts of its director Danny Boyle and writer Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Whose bright idea was it to unwind after a tiring week by watching John Hillcoat’s adaptation of The Road?
Oh yeah. Whoops.
Good adaptation, though. Pretty much exactly how I’d imagined it, right down to the coastline that looked like Oregon (which was where they shot those scenes). Certainly puts pre-apocalyptic woes into perspective. Cheer up, you could be being chased by cannibals through the dead trees and ash.
Is a “director’s cut” ever a good idea? The director’s cut has been a feature of the home video landscape for years, getting a significant boost from multi-disk DVD and now Blu-Ray sets. There are some pretty bad ones around, but which are the best? Movie sites like Shortlist, IGN Movies, MoviesOnline.ca, FilmWad and Empire have all given us lists of the best (and worst), and online discussions have suggested others (Blade Runner tops most lists, but beyond that they diverge significantly). Where do you start when that two-hour epic isn’t epic enough?
This discussion made me wonder if there’s a site somewhere that rates director’s cuts. There doesn’t seem to be, but quite a few film sites have done lists of the best...
We caught up last night with The King’s Speech on DVD. Geoffrey Rush is one of those actors, like Gene Hackman, who makes anything he appears in watchable, and this was no exception, though like The Artist it wasn’t the weightiest of Oscar winners. Movies about modern royalty can all too easily seem like the ultimate case of First World Problems.
But perhaps that’s unfair: public speaking is purportedly most people’s number one fear, beating even death, which could make this the first public-speaking horror movie. And it has a great ratings warning on the DVD box: “contains strong language in a speech therapy context”. So specific! You can imagine them at the ratings board saying, “At last we can use that speech therapy warning.” Or that they have a whole book of them: “pea-souper scenes may induce psychosomatic asthma”; “extreme forelock-tugging”; “contains scenes of abdication and death”.
I linked the other day to the Machete Order for showing the Star Wars films to a newcomer, something that interests me more and more now that W. is showing an increasing interest in all things Star Wars thanks to his nursery peers. I’d rather he’s a bit older when he sees them, so I’ve been telling him we can watch them when he’s 8, or maybe 7. There’s no avoiding them, though, because he’s obsessed with Lego, and Star Wars Lego is huge with young boys. He doesn’t have any yet, but his friends do, and so does his Lego sticker book.
So he knows the names of various characters. The other day on the bus he was grilling me extensively on their relationships, which must have sounded amusing to bystanders. He said something about Anakin turning into Darth Vader, but hasn’t yet figured out the biggest reveal in movie history. The Machete Order holds out hope of preserving this spoiler-free innocence, if only his entire network of friends would play along; which they won’t, but one can hope.
I went along to The Artist the other night with some friends, and as it’s probably about to win Best Picture at the Oscars I should post my thumbnail review.