June 23rd, 2005

self portrait

Movie Day recap

I started the day with Batman Begins. As so many of my friends have noted, it's freaking awesome. I liked best, I think, that it showed the dual nature of Batman as symbol of justice and terror. It did not flinch from the darker aspects of this hero but did not leave him an anti-hero. By showing the kind of person Batman could be if his desire for revenge had consumed him, it left the viewer with a far more subtle and ambiguous character.

Next up was Revenge of the Sith. Definitely the low point of the day but not completely without merit. I think one of its major problems was the insistence on inserting little bits of "cute" humor here and there (usually in throw-away line muttered by droids). I didn't buy Anakin's conversion to the Dark Side. It seemed too abrupt despite the bits leading up to it. It's one thing to kill in anger, it's another to become a dispassionate spree killer and the transition didn't work for me. Further, the resolution of the relationship between Anakin and Padme seemed forced. I think the storyline of the first three episodes makes for good tragedy, but I think that Lucas didn't make a good tragedy; we, as audience, did not learn a significant lesson from the hero's fall.

As recommended by minnehaha and daedala, I next saw Howl's Moving Castle. It was a charming film. I loved Billy Crystal's characterization and voicing of the fire demon, particularly. I was also intrigued that the story didn't feature a strong villain, in that the villain doesn't get a lot of screen time, and still managed to instill a sense of the peril facing the characters. I also enjoyed the fact that I could easily spot the theme of the story (love conquers all), without being distracted by it or thinking it too sappy. It was not hammered down our throats but all the events of the film evolve from the theme.

So it was a lovely evening of entertainment. Not too much popcorn or sweets, thanks, largely to the timing needed to squeeze in all three requiring me to buy tickets just moments before each film started. I feel all caught up with popular culture now and ready for the next batch of films I'll be too busy to see until the next Movie Day.
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    Hard On Me--Richard Thompson