Monday, November 12, 2012

A three-movie Bond-nanza!

Friday I watched the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, and did not think much of it. The first half stretched too long by far, and the action sequences were few and uninspired. The second was saved somewhat by Javier Bardem but I still lacked satisfaction when the film ended. I liked the cinematography; it cannot be denied, the visuals are sumptuous. However the plot was, even by Bond standards, ridiculous. As such, it was hard to have much feeling for, or attachment to, any of the characters. The film shall pass from my mind without a flutter of care.

Saturday I was scheduled to see Wolf Children Ame and Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda but it was sold out by the time my friends (Andrew, Andrea, Marc and Alex) and I got to the theatre. Instead, after picking up some Portuguese baked goods and making Rice Krispies' squares, we sat down to Hosoda's Summer Wars, which I'd heard of before (from Andrew), but had little opportunity, or inclination, to see. So I was delighted to find that it was indeed an enjoyable film, aimed at teenagers perhaps, but still enjoyable. Even after its inauspicious beginning (hokey rendering of social networking, implausible beautiful-girl-hires-nerdy-virgin-for-a-week), I was pulled into the story simply due to the likability of the characters and the exquisite detail and work that went into animating them to life. The story is ludicrous, of course, but Summer Wars doesn't take itself too seriously, focusing only on being fun to watch. I'd see it again.

And today, Sunday, instead of viewing Wreck-It Ralph as was originally planned, my friend and I caught Cloud Atlas. I was intrigued by it being written by the Wachoski brothers siblings and the lukewarm reception it received. What a thing I'd seen! When the credits finally rolled, a large smile remained on my face, for I had just had a great movie experience. Not perfect perhaps (the re-use of actors for different roles was a bit jarring at first, and become something of a distracting game) but one does not aim for greatness without a stumble hither and thither. In a word, Cloud Atlas is epic. I implore you: See this movie now, while it's still in the theatres. For it is there it belongs, to be enjoyed fully, greatly, wholly. Do not watch the trailers, for they may reveal joys meant to be tasted in a particular order. This is a film that stays in the mind, with many dots to join.

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