Archive for July 2012
Last Saturday I finally had the opportunity to see Wes Anderson’s latest film “Moonrise Kingdom” at College Square. Like most of his films (“Life Aquatic” being the one that disinterests me), I sat and watched and was drawn in by its cleverness and quirkiness, but wasn’t fully wowed. After the film ended I left the theater and continued to think about it over the rest of the day and weekend. I came to like it more in hindsight than I did in the theater. It’s rare when that happens, but there you go.
The film is about Sam, a kid who flees a scout camp on the small fictitious island of New Penzance off the New England coast during the summer of 1965 for a romantic rendezvous with Suzy, a girl who caught his eye at a church play one year prior (a stage production of “Noye’s Fludde, which is actually an opera).
A search crew is assembled, consisting of the scoutmaster (Edward Norton), the local police captain (Bruce Willis), Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) and, later, a social services worker (Tilda Swinton, in all her iciness). I liked the leads, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, and I thought Willis did a good job portraying an adult who genuinely seemed to care about Sam’s predicament (there is a subplot regarding his foster family… but I don’t want to give it away).
Anderson has a particular, signature fondness for tracking shots, which are used so extensively that, I almost have to admit, I became slightly annoyed by it. But it’s a trivial complaint for an otherwise sweet, charming story about two kids’ first attempt at romance and escapism.
I downloaded the Manos game app, and was not impressed. Holding my iPhone sideways, I had to rely on four tiny controller-style buttons on the screen (with no haptic input) to guide the character across the screen, bobbing and weaving (unsuccessfully) around various threats.
Honestly, I was never good at attack-style video games. When my family got an NES for Christmas way back in the 1980s, my brother was the one who excelled at Mario Bros. and the like, while I stuck with Tetris and Dr. Mario. When we got a computer in our home, I preferred Myst and Sim City over Doom and Wolfenstein 3D.
But I will give the game developers credit for creating a game that looks very much like it came from the 1980s, graphics- and music-wise.
A restored version of “Manos: The Hands of Fate”, one of the ‘best’ worst films ever made, is being released on DVD. Kudos to aintitcool.com for this story.
Also, an iOS game version will be released this Thursday. The below video makes it look far more interesting than the film was. I’ll be trying it out this Thursday.
I’m very grateful that Alex, who moved to Aurora last summer, was not at the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” last night.
An excerpt from Roger Ebert’s op-ed in today’s NYT:
I’m not sure there is an easy link between movies and gun violence. I think the link is between the violence and the publicity. Those like James Holmes, who feel the need to arm themselves, may also feel a deep, inchoate insecurity and a need for validation.
That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.
Immediately after a shooting last month in the food court of the Eaton Centre mall in Toronto, a young woman named Jessica Ghawi posted a blog entry. Three minutes before a gunman opened fire, she had been seated at the exact place he fired from.
“I was shown how fragile life was,” she wrote. “I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath.”
This same woman was one of the fatalities at the midnight screening in Aurora. The circle of madness is closing.