The Octonauts (2010-2021)

The Swimming of Being Saying something interesting about children’s programming requires a critical shift, acknowledging that we are not the primary consumer. Actually, for much of this media, I think parents are that target audience. Sesame Street cannot possibly be as educational as advertised, but great effort is obviously spent convincing parents that it is.… Continue reading The Octonauts (2010-2021)

Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (1999-2001)

Plot Mines For the sake of completeness of my Holmes project, I watched a couple episodes of this. The fancy is that Holmes is placed 200 years in his future. The future setting allows the animators to use all sorts of visual shorthand for sets and situations. The appropriation of Holmes allows the writers existing… Continue reading Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (1999-2001)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

illogical The invention of the logical detective in Sherlock Holmes was profoundly important, directly leading to the great invention of noir, the descendants of which dominate our viewing vocabulary. The notion that people were deeply logical and that a human mind was capable of mastering this logic was the great promise that swept over the… Continue reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

Loco Motives Lawrence Olivier was an actor who delivered rewards, but acting is not storytelling and sometimes the opposite is the case. He made a well regarded Hamlet and approached it as expected; he inhabited the character and let that being drive what was presented. If only he understood confounding dynamic structure the author erected… Continue reading Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

Poirot: The Adventure of the Clapham Cook (1989)

Fully Realized Over the years, I have written one tirade after another about Clive Exton, the adapter of Christie for many of these Poirot mysteries. He just doesn’t get the form, what makes the form of the detective story so captivating. What he does is substitute character for discovery. The excuse, I am sure is… Continue reading Poirot: The Adventure of the Clapham Cook (1989)

Limitless (2011)

Constraints There are two things here to recommend. The first is that the screenplay is based on a fresh idea that springs from the kind of gangster genre typified by Snatch. I’ll characterise this as an anti-genre film because it uses that genre as a shortcut to describe the background world of violence the story… Continue reading Limitless (2011)

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)