Monday, July 06, 2009

The Passion of Soroya M. & The Adventure of Tedium

The Mrs. jasdye and I rarely go out to the flix these days. So no love for T2: the Crapocalypse or Revenge of the Moctezuma this year. However, we did check out two films within the last month that have made me think enough to rev up the ol' blog engines again.

Pixar does it again. I may not end up liking this movie as much as Wall*E, but then again, it's less heavy-handed (and doesn't tie up its producers in a two-faced lie about mass consumerism) and may end up getting an Oscar nod for best pic this year (thanks to the desperate - but perhaps well-timed - move by the Academy to extend the nominees to ten from five this last month). It's a fun movie, and I think it's more well-rounded than the writer/director's last one, Monsters, Inc. which didn't seem to have a real theme besides, "Little girls are cute and you shouldn't scare them." The theme of the adventure of the mundane, the idea that "It's the boring stuff that I remember the most," that really struck home with me. Because, mostly, I tend to be or around home a lot.

I'm kind of like a hobbit in that way.

The 3-D was cool. Joss was sitting between us and watched most of the movie with her glasses on. But then the Mrs. discovered that she fell asleep when she started leaning over - I was a little slow on that end. Didn't feel that they were over-reaching with the 3-D (like no dogs jumping out of the screen, that type of stuff) but it didn't really seem to further a purpose, either. Which I think is fine in for repeated viewings. In general, though, the movie looked good. Many wonderful colors, which I can't help but think were muted by the glasses/effects.

The Stoning of Soraya N.

Jim Caviezel in another The (Violent Act) of (Innocent Victim) movie. I'm sure there've been many parallels drawn by many critics. But I have not read their reviews, so I feel free to infringe my own comparisons.

* Jim Caviezel speaks a variant of ancient Persian.
* Middle east, under oppressive rule.
* Murderous mix of theocrats and more-or-less secular politicians scheming to save their hides.
* The titular act is relentlessly bloody and barely winces until the main character has died - leaving viewers rather breath-less.
* Lots of dry stones.
* Demonic arch-villain piling on the accusations and urging the blood-letting.

Though the movie is heavy-handed and not did not strike me immediately as very film-ic, the story is an intense thriller and offers a microcosm view of not just the Iranian countryside, but of any tribe that desires to put the interests of the powerful (usually men) over those of the voiceless (usually women). There is critique also of entertainment and media alternately triumphalising this violence and hiding it, of the legacy of the sins of the fathers, and of those who proclaim that their duties are the will of God yet are heedless to the voice of God.

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