Sunday, February 3, 2013

less and more often

I decided to see if I can write more frequent entries into this blog, posting a little more often and at less length.

I saw two very different movies this week.

One was the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie, The Master (2012). I have to say I was somewhat disappointed in this, although it's worth seeing for the great Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This story about a Scientology-like cult was marred by the casting of Joaquin Phoenix as a troubled man going in and out of the cult. There's been a odd aura about Phoenix since his dropping out of films and making that weird documentary about being a rapper; instead of seeing a troubled ex-soldier, I was seeing weird Joaquin Phoenix. And I'm not sure if this was an acting or writing deficit, but some of his comings and goings from the cult were not clear or understandable; the passage of time was also murky. Amy Adams, playing Hoffman's wife, was pregnant for a very long time early in the film (that is, way more time than it seemed phoenix's initial indoctrination took); later, she's no longer pregnant, but there's no sign or mention of a baby. The character of Hoffman's son (played by Jesse Plemons of the TV fave Saturday Night Lights) was sketchy: early in the film, he's dubious about what his father does, and later, he's clearly on the time, but has no story line other than that. Anderson usually does beautiful work with period settings, but they didn't jump out at me in this film (the way they did in, say, Boogie Nights). This wasn't the film I wanted to see.

On the other hand, I watched the Indian film God Tussi Great Ho (2007) the other night, expected little, and was surprisingly pleased. Yet another unauthorized Indian remake, this time of the Jim Carrey film Bruce Almighty, all of the silliness carries a very good comic performance by Salman Khan. And of course, there was only one person to stunt-cast as God: Amitabh Bachchan. The movie was corny and the special effects horrendous, but it was really, really entertaining. There was also one great song - I'll have to sniff it out on YouTube.

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