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Showing posts from February, 2020

The Invisible Man

I have long been a fan of HG Wells, whose writing at the end of the nineteenth century including  The Time Machine ,  The Island of Doctor Moreau  and  The Invisible Man  established him as the father of science fiction. The latter of these novels chronicles the random and irresponsible violence of a scientist named Griffin, whose research into optics and the refraction of light allow him to become invisible. The classic 1933 film starring Claude Rains employed bandaging to reveal the location of the unseen main character. Special effects have advanced a bit.  1933 - Claude Rains So it was with delight in high school English class that I dove into my copy of  Invisible Man  only to find that it was the Ralph Ellison 1952 novel about individual identity among African Americans of the day. It is a great book, but not what I was expecting. There have been several remakes of this film, but the current release of  The Invisible Man  is a great reboot of the Wells concept, starrin

The Rhythm Section

It’s difficult to judge audience enthusiasm on a Monday night, especially when the audience is comprised of two people, including my wife and I. If Blake Lively was hoping to jumpstart her lagging career, this won’t be the ticket. In  The Rhythm Section  she plays Stephanie Patrick, a top-of-her-class Oxford student whose family changes plans to include her on a vacation, with disastrous results. The plane crashes, killing all on board, including the father of two children who occupied her unused seat. Wallowing in guilt and grief, she proceeds to self-medicate with drugs and prostitution. You know, the usual choices. A journalist who has dedicated himself to researching the accident discovers that the plane was bombed, and he is closing in on those responsible. He just needs Stephanie’s help, but it is never really revealed why. What he has uncovered is a sinister human cocktail of terrorists, information brokers and bomb-builders, some existing only as shadowy code names like

The Gentlemen

Following a weekend that featured the Academy Awards’ annual look back, it’s refreshing to dive into films that represent the year ahead. And in the wake of the seeming mass hysteria over  Parasite , a sleeper like  The Gentlemen  is especially enjoyable. I won’t compare the two films other than to say that I like the latter much better. But I doubt that it will be nominated for any awards next year. It’s always nice to have no expectations walking into a theater. Our choices are so frequently made based on “what’s playing at 7pm” that we tend to see movies less hyped and of shorter shelf life. Seeing two or three movies per week, we get tired of trailers we view over and over again. Not so with  The Gentlemen . It crept onto our local theater’s screen seemingly without warning, or maybe teased with a poster or two in the lobby. Matthew McConaughey along with his legendary good looks, rumored body odor and smarmy, self-absorbed Lincoln auto commercials is not a draw for me. But


Honestly, are you at all reluctant to see movies with subtitles? I have to be in the right mood. They require a certain amount of mental work and you can’t look down at your popcorn for even a few seconds for fear of missing something. Our viewing of  Parasite  was at noon on a Saturday, since our very un-art-house Regal 16 apparently felt that two hours of precious screen time early in the day was all that could be spared for a film that doesn’t have star power, explosions or talking animals. And if  Parasite  had not been nominated for Best Picture it’s unlikely we would have been given any chance to see it at all. Metaphors abound, or are at least proclaimed to be in abundance by numerous characters in the opening scenes of  Parasite . One particular “Scholar’s Rock” continues to make appearances like the monolith in  2001: A Space Odyssey . It is a gift to the Kim family from Min, a friend of son “Kevin” who asks for a favor that sets the entire plot of the movie in motion.