Sunday, March 06, 2016

An underwhelming set of reviews

*  From a couple of weeks back:  the last episode of the X Files reboot.  Terrible, just terrible.  The only possible explanation seems to be the suggestion I have read elsewhere:  that a studio forced reduction from an 8 part return to 6 episodes resulted in the compression of the crucial framing story to the point of nonsense.  Really, seriously, this needs to be the end of the show.

Kung Fu Hustle:  I mentioned last week how this was my first movie hire on Google Play, inspired as I was by Journey to the West to see more work by Cantonese writer/director/actor Stephen Chow.  Well, this earlier effort is not, in my books, anywhere near as good as Journey.  But it is interesting to note his humour style and imagination at play.  And most importantly:  the Google Play system worked well as a standard definition download watched on a big screen via a Chromecast.   The file download was just under 500 MB for a 90 minute movie, if I recall correctly, but the picture quality was fine enough.   Not sure I would bother with a HD download until I get a better TV.

Hail, Caesar:   the latest Coen brothers movie was interesting but, alas, a bit underwhelming.   The bits with George Clooney were all fine,  and the most memorable. But his story doesn't take up all that much screen time.  In many respects the movie was of unclear intent - some parts were suggesting an ironic take on big studio Hollywood, but they weren't quite playing that way.   Overall, it was a case of "not zany enough" compared to many of their earlier comedies.  As much as I like some of their earlier work, I still wonder if now critics see quality in their handicraft which isn't really there.  Their screenwriting help on Bridge of Spies, for example:  I didn't think the Coen-ish aspects of the final screenplay were particularly great.   Still, may they keep on working and (hopefully) one day reach a new comedy peak.

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