Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Mystic iRiver

iRiver has just released their firmware upgrade 2.6... it's big claim to fame is that it can now read OGG Vorbis, which I guess is cool. I have missed the past few upgrades, though, so I'm pretty happy to spruce the old workhorse up, especially now that I'm using it much more often.


Mystic River


One can count on great performances from a good cast in any Clint Eastwood movie, and this film is no different. All of the acting accolades heaped upon the players in this movie were completely earned... everybody delivers...

...except that each plot turn seems to be telegraphed from a mile away, and that the moral conundrum at the end of the film seems way too forced. Eastwood does what he can with this script, but unfortunately it doesn't quite cut the mustard, violating one of my cardinal rules... often characters do things in order to advance the plot instead of being internally motivated.



I also found Eastwood's music to be way too lush for this film. In the past, he has relied upon Lennie Niehaus, who was formerly Jerry Fielding's orchestrator, for the nondescript musical backing for his films. As of Unforgiven, Eastwood himself has penned a theme for many of his films which was then adapted and scored by Niehaus. This film was scored en toto by Eastwood, and it is extremely inappropriate for the film.

Saadia hated this film, so I figured that I'd love it, as her cinematic taste is lodged so firmly up her ass that it is visible when she yawns (seriously, she almost never likes anything good). While I certainly didn't hate it, it really didn't grab me the way it has so many of my friends.



"Look out! Don't land me in that dog shit!"

Sequel Reflections


Starting Friday, there will be an IMAX presentation of Spider-Man 2. In addition to the big-screen adventures, I am quite eager to see the title sequence, with its arresting Alex Ross watercolors, in those proportions.

Having seen Spider-Man 2 a second time, along with the first film (Dave wanted to see the Superbit DVD on my system yesterday), I have to say that this new trend of making sequels directly relating to strands from the previous films is one that I wholeheartedly enjoy (this reaches a sort of apothesis with The Lord of the Rings, but that is an unusual case all around). Critics have hemmed and hawed about how both X2 and Spider-Man 2 set up their respective sequels, apparently forgetting that both movies are based upon serial format storytelling. I really like this because it allows more subtle and overreaching character arcs than the cinematic medium was previously capable of.

Spider-Man 2, in particular, depends greatly upon story strands that are picked up from the first film. One of my favorite scenes, in which Peter tells Aunt May something that had been eating him up inside, is a moment that wouldn't have worked had the audience not already had the investment of having seen (and probably having loved) the first movie. The trailers leaned heavily upon association with the first film, while the poster campaign gave us something more epic in nature.

What makes the film work overall is not that it is an epic... if anything, the scope is much more narrower than the first film's (causing at least one person I know to complain that it didn't have enough action - please!), focusing more on Peter's internal struggle. Spider-Man 2 finds the epic in the banal; the film concentrates on the difficulties that Peter has being Spider-Man, which means that we find out that he has jock itch in the Spidey suit. He loses some of his abilities in a wonderful metaphor for sexual dysfunction. Peter and his martyr complex is just doing what he thinks he has to do, but in doing so he becomes a mythic figure.

I have commented before, and I hold to this, that the Jesus imagery at the end of the train scene is not about Peter or even the Spider-Man persona, but is about the reaction of the people on the train who are alive because of his actions. As Suit commented as we left the theater on our first viewing, "Those people are going to tell their grandchildren that they touched Spider-Man."
Tags: cinema
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