let that be a lesson

1
Just came back from watching THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. The parent in me did a little bit of tsk-tsking: “Children should not go traipsing off with strange fauns and white witches! Didn’t they learn anything about stranger danger?”

Noticed the same thing about NARNIA as with KING KONG — decent movies, both, and they both featured a nonhuman character who was fascinating to watch — but I got annoyed by all the times the movies tried to construct A Stirring Emotional/Mystical moment through the lingering gaze of the camera upon the silently emoting actor, accompanied, of course, by a swell of appropriate music. Very pretty images, but they weren’t backed by enough story/character development in order to have the effect, at least on me, that they were so clearly intended to have. All they did was bog down the pace and make the story overlong. I love a long movie, and I love a weighted, dramatic, complicated moment — I just want that length and weight to be justified by the story itself, and not by what someone is trying to force that story to be.

My favorite movies of the year so far: A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, which doesn’t surprise me, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which does, a little, since I’m generally not the romantic-movie type. (Having said that, one of my all-time favorite films, slotted right in there among SEVEN, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, HEAT and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, is another Jane Austen adaptation — the 1999 version of MANSFIELD PARK. If you haven’t seen it, you really, really should.)

Eagerly anticipating MUNICH, which truly does look weighted, dramatic, and complicated; and MATCH POINT, which seems about some of my favorite things.

2
Went to the SpaceX Christmas party last night, which was held at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. My favorite line of recent nights, said by an attractive blonde woman in an off-the-shoulder black top as I was about to shake her hand: “Sorry my palm is so wet. I was off petting the sharks.”

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