A lot has been written about 1917 already, Sam Mendes’ latest movie and his first non-Bond film in years. I won’t be offering a full-blown review; I liked the film, though I think it’s better as a technical achievement than as storytelling, and in terms of the latter I don’t think it does anything particularly new or different compared to many other films about the First World War. However, I don’t think its form can be dismissed just as a gimmick – doing so strikes me as, well, silly, because there is clearly a purpose to the one-shot structure. Whether this purpose is fulfilled successfully or not, that’s a different discussion, and reviewers as much as general audiences seem to disagree on whether Mendes’ presentation benefits the material.Continue reading
No news on the game front, really; I’m still playing Stalker (pure nukular goodness!), Neverwinter Nights 2 (it’s okay, but I still don’t get the enthusiastic reviews), Anachronox (slowly getting to the end) – and a rallye game called Colin McRae DIRT, best proof that the streets are safer with me off them.
I also haven’t watched any new films (or rewatched old ones), so I’ll take this opportunity to write about films that I expected to like – but didn’t. Usually when that happens, it’s that I like the director’s previous work a lot, but then fail completely to connect with the film. Or it’s that a reviewer I like gives the film a glowing review that I fall for. By the way, I don’t share the dismissive arrogance many people have when it comes to reviewers – good critics don’t necessarily share my opinions 100%, but 1) they have to recognise what a film is trying to do and 2) I have to know where they’re coming from after reading the review. What I do hate is critics who pan a genre film, for instance, because it isn’t Truffaut, critics who mistake their dislike for a certain kind of story or storytelling for its inherent unworthiness. And with a good reviewer, it doesn’t really matter whether they liked a film or not – I will have a good idea from what they write and how they write it whether I’m likely to enjoy the film.
Before I get started on this in earnest, though, I’ll have to come up with a list of films that fit. I’ve got a few ideas: Punch Drunk Love, for one, and my own favourite, Russian Ark. (Okay, technically that latter one is a “Film that this blogger hated with a vengeance”, but more of that later.) So, tune back in very soon!
P.S.: Films that – ironically, predictably – didn’t click for anyone, part 1: