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Films - John C. Kirk

Nov. 16th, 2003

11:11 pm - Films

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Today's been a fairly lazy day, given that I've been to the cinema twice. Spoiler-free comments follow...

Trailers: I think the "Return of the King" trailer has been knocking around the internet for a while, but this is the first time I've seen it, and it looks very impressive. Mind you, I haven't seen "The Two Towers" since I saw it in the cinema last year, so I'll need to re-watch that, and probably "Fellowship..." again too. Oddly, the trailer for "Paycheck" is actually slightly different to the one I saw on the official website, although there's nothing too significant that differs. Anyway, it looks like a very good film, so I'll definitely go to see that. More specifically, I'll watch it at Picocon next year (plug, plug!).

This morning I watched "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", which I think is almost finished in cinemas now (only on once a day in the morning at weekends, and not at all during the week). I quite enjoyed it - it doesn't have much in common with the comic (which I also liked), but that's ok. I treat them as alternate divergences from a common starting point (i.e. the original literature). I do wonder whether there will be children (or even adults) who say "Oh, that Hyde bloke is a complete Hulk ripoff", but that's probably just me being elitist. Visually, it was very impressive, particularly the special effects for the Invisible Man. And there's a reasonable story there too (by the standards of summer blockbusters), although I did get a bit confused about what they were trying to achieve at one point.

One main difference in approach between the comic and the film is that the film spells things out a lot more. E.g. it doesn't matter whether you've heard of Dorian Gray, since you are told explicitly what's special about him. By contrast, the comic often left me with the feeling of "Wow, Alan Moore is a lot smarter than I am, and I really should read more of these classics of literature so that I can keep up". I don't resent that, and it's probably a good influence on me (not that I actually have read any of the source material since reading the comic last year, admittedly), but having things spoon-fed to me does make for a relaxing change of pace.

This evening I watched "Love Actually" (advance showing before it opens properly next Friday). I liked it - it was entertaining, and heartwarming. Pretty much what you'd expect, really. There's a large cast, so lots of small stories, but they all get enough space, and weave together nicely. I couldn't tell you many of the names of characters, but I recognised them enough to keep track of who was who. And the children in the film avoid being overly cute or precocious. One note of caution, though - I know some people get a bit disappointed when a film is billed as a comedy, and actually turns out to be more of a drama ("East is East" being a good example of that). There are some serious parts in this film, and I'd say that it's closer to "Sliding Doors" than it is to "Four Weddings and a Funeral". I don't think that's a bad thing, but you may want to modify your expectations accordingly. On a lighter note, I've added "Jump!" to my list of "old songs that I want to get a copy of sometime" (the original version, not the Girls Aloud cover version).

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