1984 (1984)

Is What It Shows It is a pet peeve of mine to discover films whose point is undermined by its container. Most of these are the trivial case of movies about taking chances and being unique, but the form of the movie is the complete opposite. What we have here is similar, but in an… Continue reading 1984 (1984)

102 Dalmatians (2000)

Character Engineering Disney has the world’s most advanced character lab. That’s what these kinds of movies depend on. What we see are the broad strokes, but what’s more interesting are all the little touches that are added based on the science of discovery through tests. It all revolves around the notion of the wheels of… Continue reading 102 Dalmatians (2000)

Home Alone 3 (1997)

The Fighting Child Is there a more interesting case study than John Hughes? He invented a new genre and incidentally opened a new strain of cinematic techniques. But writing is like other major enterprises in life. Each hit on the pool ball does three things; it attempts to score, it completely changes the environment and… Continue reading Home Alone 3 (1997)

Holmes & Watson (2018)

Deductions This did not make me laugh. Apparently it had the same effect on almost everyone. But I credit these folks with taking risks. Humour is an evolving quality, and some brands of humour demand being on an edge between the unexpectedly awkward and the emotionally obese. The uncomfortable thing for me is that I… Continue reading Holmes & Watson (2018)

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple: 4:50 from Paddington (1987)

Missed Train The Marple stories — many of them — are lessons in narrative placement. We start with the basic notion of the mystery narrator shuffling through multiple created realities looking for what makes sense. Marple turns that into the clever notion of detection as gossip: the constructed realities of small town busybodies imposing a… Continue reading Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple: 4:50 from Paddington (1987)

Space Battleship Yamato (2010)

Teen Explosions I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what the necessary ingredients may be for a successful space travel-centric sci-fi movie. ‘Interstellar’ used a device to place the images in the past, leveraging established movie notions. That was a movie that referenced and mined memories. Jodorowky’s Dune would have been unlike anything… Continue reading Space Battleship Yamato (2010)

25th Hour (2002)

Figure Skating There are two ways to look at figure skating. You can judge it as a matter of difficulty or a matter of grace. It used to be the grace that trumped. I watch figure skating and films because of how they enrich my lives. Sometimes a skater — or an actor for that… Continue reading 25th Hour (2002)