Atlas Shrugged, Part II
was supposed to be better than Part I because they had a bigger budget and a better cast if not crew. I wasn't convinced by their advertisement because I frankly liked the earlier cast and thought that it was a directing/editing problem. True to form, Atlas Shrugged, Part II
was worse than part 1.
The money speech was cut to three sentences and the lesson that d'Anconia gives to Rearden was missing in its entirety. Likewise, Rearden's trial was watered down and cut short and the time that Rearden had with the wet nurse was nonexistent. There was no Ragnar, no d'Anconia working covertly in the mills for months and the big fight at Rearden's didn't happen either. Over all, a lackluster piece of cinema with way to much removal of source material.Cloud Atlas
was supposed to be this magnificent, intelligent film that went throughout various time periods and taught us something deep about humanity. Well, there were several poignant moments, and for the $100+ million that was spent on it did produce a stunning image and precisely-engineered sound. But at the end of the day, it was a $100 million re-make of The Fountain
with 1/100th of the depth of story or meaning.
Per the trailer, Skyfall
is a James Bond film. The trailer makes it look like there's some kind of mission that Bond was part of but went rogue/disappeared/presumed dead and somehow completed the mission. Meanwhile, there are a lot of dead bodies that M is left to account for because of the failed mission. According to the trailer, Bond should have come back, got himself together, took names and kicked ass. Instead, there more more drama-less, action-less moments in this film than in the previous failure Quantum of Solace
a film which James Bond himself issued an apology
does have redeeming moments–perhaps enough to merit a second look. Perhaps I'm just jaded by Casino Royale
–a film that starts with action, is full of action and ends with action. But this is about trailers and films not matching up.
Which brings me to Flight
with Denzel Washington. From the trailer, I expected this to be a film about a pilot that pulls a plane out of an impossible situation and lands it as safely and gently as possible despite the fact that he has a drinking problem that isn't fully explained by the trailer. I assumed that the film would be about the cause of his drinking problem and the bulk of the film would be about how he rises to overcome any kind of negligence charges. Instead, this film was 30 minutes of plane crash, 1hr 30 watching a drunk be a drunk and 10 minutes of personal responsibility. No drama whatsoever
I don't know if I've become an old curmudgeon or if the state of filmmaking/advertising has gotten so bad that the only option open to producers is to lie in their advertisements.
What I do know is that I have been able to redeem these atrocities via TV of all things. Since we last met, I completed Season 1 of Once Upon a Time
, a fantastic piece of cinema and entertainment. I like the cinematography, I like the acting, especially Robert Carlyle's. The dialog is tidy, the characters believable and the season feels like the never-ending story you get wrapped up in and hate to leave when your eyes scan the words, "The End".
I'm looking forward to Season 2 and will likely add both to my collection along with Downton Abbey
For me, the jury is still out on Mad Men after having finished a season. It's slow and I'm not sure how much more of the over-the-top sex in the city, sex in the suburbs, sex in the bedroom I can put up with.
Up next is Castle
Season 4 followed by Rizzol & Isles
, Hell on Wheels
. I'm not a huge fan of Castle, though it has its moments. I wished it was a darker show along the lines of Dexter
. To me, the best metaphor to describe Castle
is chewing bubble gum.