Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Random Stuff

Quinn had ice skating today. Normally there would be pictures, but no camera was taken to the event. And I don't know if it's because he was overly tired or what, but Quinn didn't really want to be there and ended up leaving a bit early today. From Ginger's report both kids were really tired most of the day, so they both got put to bed earlier than usual. Hopefully that will help with their attitudes tomorrow.

I watched The Illusionist the other night. It gets an overall passing grade. I'm not sure how to describe it other than a period piece based mystery story with a touch of fantasy (the illusions if you will). The movie itself is nothing spectacular, and you can easily see the ending coming from a mile away. There are no real surprises in the movie (at least there weren't for me). Jessica Biel once again proves to me that her acting, if you can call it that, should be limited to movies like the stuff she did in Blade where actual acting isn't required. Edward Norton just seems to phoning this in, but at the same time, for reasons I'll get into a bit later, they really don't want to focus on his character too much. Paul Giamatti on the other hand turns in a really good performance as the conflicted Inspector Uhl. In fact, I wouldn't have minded had the story focused much more on him than it did. His character is wonderfully written as existing at the crossroad between two worlds, that of his roots with the common people where he originated and that of the aristocracy which has tenuously accepted him and he is now suppose to serve without question. The moral dilemma that he endures through this movie should have been the story I believe. Instead we get some theatrics with illusions and a botched love story. I think part of my problem with this movie is that it never really settles on a point of view. Initially it looks like the story will be told from Uhl's perspective, but then there are some scenes where he's not involved at all, which looking back I see was required to drive the plot. But this whole movie is suppose to be mysterious, and it's Uhl's that is suppose to be deciphering the mystery, so the scenes without him are terse and uninformative and are only there to give the rest of us some clue as to what's occurring. Perhaps it's that reason for my belief that these are not strong performances by Norton or Biel, it could be they just weren't allowed the chance to convey their characters. The other thing about this movie that I didn't like was that it makes use of flashback storytelling. It starts out with this dramatic scene, and then before it gets resolved it flashes back in the story to tell what led to that point. Never been a fan of stories that use that device because initially you're jut thrown into the story with no basis, so you can't determine whether the actions being taken make sense. And they're presented in such an out of context way as to evoke your natural tendency to empathize with the side you think is right, even though you know nothing of the actions that brought them to this point. Overall it's not a bad movie, but there are certain aspects and ramifications of the ending that I didn't really like.

And since I only showed pictures of the kids in the snow for the past couple of days, how about some pictures of the snow itself.


gaz. arrggg! said...

so tell me, what's it like living in narnia?

JamesF said...

It felt a bit like that. Especially with the disconnect of what we were told was going to happen versus the facts on the ground outside our windows.

It was actually pretty cool while it lasted. But sadly most of it's melted now.

BullBunky said...

Have you seen The Prestige? I'm curious how it compares. I watched parts of it on a plane recently, but had it on my list to watch at home (not that I have control of our Netflix list :)

JamesF said...

The Prestige will be arriving today hopefully (I know, two 'magic' flicks in a row), but given how much TV occurs on Thursday night, if I don't watch it tonight, I probably won't get to it until the weekend.

The Dogfather said...

Good to see that the alternate blog o'scorn is still raging away. I'm just curious... are you Statler or Waldorf?