Monday, November 26, 2007

to see and not to see

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Bad puns on Shakespeare and all.

First off, what not to see:

August Rush. When I saw the trailer, I thought, how INCREDIBLY cheesy. But then I also thought, well, maybe it's one of those incredibly cheesy movies that somehow sweep you up in their flood of sentiment and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. After watching the scary gore of Jekyll, I was more than ready for warm and fuzzy. This movie isn't just cheesy though. It's ridiculous, sentimental, and unlikely, without the spirit to make any of it believable, even in a pastel-coloured, saccharine pop song sort of way. Exception: Freddie Highmore is adorable as always and there is this moment when, as the musical prodigy, he is jamming on an enormous church organ and it seems perfectly possible that he is the next Mozart. I'm partial to organ music though... It can be so gloriously moving, and I don't know if it's the sound or the spiritual connotations or what.

What you should see:

Olafur Eliasson's work. Aside from having an amazing name, Mr. Eliasson's work is sort of like the grown up version of exhibits at the Exploratorium, only with lashings of visual stun. I wasn't interested by the frozen BMW (except that I enjoyed watching people bundle up in the museum's grey fleecy blankets and troop into a giant freezer). My favourite piece was "Beauty," a dark room with streaks of light shining across a waterfall of mist pouring from the ceiling. The light made the water ripple and waver in the oddest ways. It looked like a surreal veil between dimensions, or a spiderweb in a breeze, or maybe a ghost.

Jekyll. BBC miniseries with the incredible James Nesbitt as Jekyll and Hyde. Some of the narrative seems a bit wonky and the American baddie has a dreadful accent (deep South on an alternate and mentally unstable universe?), but it's really shivery, especially in the moments of transformation.

Get Smart. I just saw the trailer for this movie and it looks amazing. Steve Carrell as an incompetent James Bond. Anne Hathaway as a beautiful spy named... Agent 99. Alan Arkin is in it, Alan Arkin! And Hiro. I've never seen the original tv show, so there's nothing to be disappointed by. It's all fun spy gadgets and explosions to look forward to. Did I mention Alan Arkin?

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