Saturday, February 8, 2020

in the media

Academy Award ceremonies are tomorrow night, so perhaps it's best to report now on the two nominated films I've managed to see in the last couple of weeks - just about the only two I'd wanted to see, and just about the only two left in the theatres - before they get wiped out on awards night for being too good.

Little Women - It's considered axiomatic in the flick biz that no man will go see a movie of this story. Yet I love adaptations of Little Women (better, in truth, than I do the original book). So if I'm not a man, then, what am I? At any rate, this adaptation is really designed for lovers of the story, who know it backwards and forwards. Because this version is told backwards and forwards, and tyros will be completely baffled. Even I had trouble putting sororal name to face at first, and would like to see it again. Except for one thing. This movie has the most irritating and obnoxious version of Laurie ever put on celluloid. I'll wait for the DVD so I can fast-forward past him.

Jojo Rabbit - This movie falls in an unusual recent category that also includes the Coen Brothers' Hail Caesar: the comedy-drama movie spoiled by its own trailer. This peculiar problem comes about when the trailer, instead of being conceived as an invitation to watch the movie, is written as a precis, a summary, of the movie's plot, and is constructed by taking all the clever bits from the movie out of context and stringing them together. The trailer, then, is a bright and shiny string of pearls, in which context the actual movie, instead of seeming like an interesting story studded with clever bits, becomes a series of clever bits padded out with dull filler, dull because you already know the story and were expecting more clever bits.

Also in dramatic news, I found myself booked for a meeting in a couple weeks in the middle of the City's theater district, and which ends at 7:30. "I could see a show," I thought, "and without taking an extra trip." So I set out trying to find ones. Aggregator sites listing everything playing were either too hard to use or I didn't trust them, and in any case some of the theaters are too far away to be feasible. So I gathered a list of all the nearby theaters by a combination of memory and scouring Google Maps - yes, I know that isn't trustworthy either - and then looked up each's site.

Alas, there's nothing I want to see, even if I don't have to travel to get there. I don't want to see Hamilton. I don't want to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I especially don't want to go to a small dining theater that puts on improv shows and quotes reviews calling it "a party spot" and "a hot scene." One theater which does have an intriguing list of shows for the season is dark that week. So I guess I'll just get back on the train and go home.

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