Review: The Life of Pi

We watched Life of Pi last night, a film that has garnered much critical acclaim and won four coveted Oscar awards (although it has not been without controversies). I had struggled somewhat with the book (for reasons given below), but the lavish praise for the film made me decide to try again. I had read about the movie’s stunning camera work and CGI graphics, and these … (more–>)

Appreciating B-Movies

It drives Susan to distraction that I love B-flicks. She squirms and fidgets if I put one into the DVD player and can seldom sit through an entire movie. They get cut off mid-film, and saved for me some time in the vague future when I might have an evening alone to finish watching it and the others in the category. Overacted, melodramatic, clumsily scripted, wooden … (more–>)

Little Dorrit: BBC Drama

We just finished watching the 14-part BBC series of Little Dorrit. As usual with most BBC series, it was superbly cast, acted, paced and filmed. Each episode was a mere 30 minutes, and almost every one of them ended in a cliffhanger fashion that made you want to watch just one more. You might not think of Charles Dickens that way, but much of what he … (more–>)

Snow White and the Huntsman reviewed

Take one part Brothers Grimm and one part Malory’s Morte d’Artur, add a dash of Tolkein, a pinch of Joan of Arc, a sprinkling of Robin Hood and a sprig of English folklore; mix it in a bowl with copious CGI, great natural settings, remarkably good stage sets, and what do you have? The 2012 film, Snow White and the Huntsman. The epic film (at least … (more–>)

Shaolin: the film

I like Chinese films, particularly the epic wuxia films. They are often a refreshing change from the effects-driven/CGI monstrosities pumped out by Hollywood. They remind me of the westerns of the 1950s, usually with good and bad sides in stark relief. Subtitles don’t bother me (better them than dubbed). I’ve watched the Chinese film industry mature over the past three decades and the quality has become remarkable. … (more–>)

Perfect Sense

I have always liked sandbox stories; tales in which the author could stretch his of her imagination, place ordinary characters into a seemingly normal situation, then see what happened when the conditions were changed.* Sandbox environments are virtual places were you can test ideas, explore paths, examine consequences to actions without spilling over into the real world. They have all the appearance of the real world, … (more–>)

And on the video scene… bargains!

December is always a good month for movie buffs, and for anyone who wants to buy TV series on DVD (no commercials!). Lots of places have before- and after-Xmas sales that make DVD shopping more interesting this month. In particular, the bargain bins are filled with all sorts of films that either never got the media attention they needed to be successful, or simply are too … (more–>)

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