Cap'n Arbyte's
Main page

FAQ
Biography
Contact
Essays
Zany stuff
Best blog articles
Technical articles
Blog archives

RSS

Advertisements


Blogroll


Non-blog sites
(coming soon)
Friends
(coming soon)

A Few Movie Reviews

Okay, I'm back. I had a great day at work today and I think I'm fully recovered. So, back to blogging. :)

I've seen three movies in the past three weeks — uncharacteristically many for me — and feel like doing some movie reviews. Why? Because it's already pretty late in the evening and I don't have time for anything more substantial. At least I'm blogging, right?

Warning, minor plot spoilers below.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This was a very interesting movie. It's food for the mind and gives you a lot to think about. If I was still in college I'm sure this would have generated an into-the-early-morning discussion with friends about what kinds of memories people might want to erase and for what reasons, and the effects it would have on things like relationships and the legal system. (What if the sole witness wanted to erase their memory of a crime?)

The idea of the movie was very interesting but the film disappointed in some ways. The two main characters were heavily flawed and didn't seem normal at all. I'm not interested in heavily flawed people. It's a movie, I want to be inspired. It was totally unclear why they were attracted to each other, and particularly why they'd fall in love twice. The movie seemed to tap into some kind of "destiny" theme that I don't think is credible.

The employees of the memory-erasing company were plainly not believable. They were amusing, but I can't suspend disbelief enough to think they'd be either so young or so willing to get drunk on the job. Too much of the plot was driven by deus ex machina, it felt forced.

However, I thought the subjective experiences of memory erasure were very well done: Signs going blank, objects in the scenery disappearing, etc. It made the point in the background, leaving the characters free to act instead of explaining what was happening.

This was a great date movie and led to a long conversation afterward but alas, I guess the movie was more interesting than I was…


Troy

Troy was mediocre at best. I'd say I was disappointed but I went into the movie with no expectations. None at all, not even low ones. I couldn't be disappointed for the same reason you can't get lost if you don't care where you're going.

Sure, there was a lot of fighting. And it was okay. But the dialogue was so uninspiring that I didn't care about any of the characters and didn't care when they died. And almost everyone died. Death, death, death, lots of killing, and I didn't care. The only two interesting characters were Agamemnon, who sadly (but fortunately for the film) was cast as comic relief, and Priam, who became genuinely interesting only when he snuck into Achilles' tent to plead for Hector's corpse.

I won't nitpick how the plot only superficially resembles Homer's. Not worth it.


Shrek 2

Great. Funnier than the original, but almost too many pop culture references. In what is essentially a fairy tale, I appreciate a sense of timelessness, and constant cultural references detract from that.

I thought the plot was weak. It seemed out of character for Shrek to be a thief, and to be so comfortable with giving up ogrehood. But in a comedy the plot is ultimately less important, so I won't dwell on it. As comedy it's brilliant. I enjoyed the many sight gags in Far Far Away — there's something funny to see in almost every frame.

The characters were fun. The dialogue was fun. The visuals were fun. Everything about this movie was fun. Highly entertaining.

I paid full price ($8) for this one, and think it was worth it. So you see, I've snuck some economics in here after all, sorta. :)

Tiny Island