I’m so rarely puzzled or let down by the great Andrew O’Hehir that it depresses me to say that his recent rumination on the question of “Is movie culture dead?” is probably the worst thing of his that I’ve read. In it, he bemoans the death of “film culture in the Susan Sontag sense.” Though he avers that movies are still relevant and talked about, he means film culture in that special way that the rest of us simply call “coastal elitism.” How else do you explain paragraphs like this? (And pay special attention to the last one. Emphasis mine.) Continue reading
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I was recently directed by a poster on a message board to this fascinating featurette, which touts the innovative marriage of technology and artistic virtuosity by an actor. Andy Serkis is already getting Oscar buzz for his performance as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Caesar is an ape, but instead of those wonky body suits you remember from the original Planet of the Apes, he is rendered with the latest advances in motion capture technology. The question on the board was whether or not Serkis deserves an Oscar nomination, but I think the question has broader implications than that. Many films in the last several years have featured performances delivered with the aid of mo-cap technology, the real question, for me, is how these technological advances should (or will) affect the way we think about film acting itself. Continue reading
Paul W. S. Anderson may have changed my mind — if only a little — about the merits of 3-D technology. For years, I’ve maintained that not one film has been made in 3-D that was better for it. Put another way, 3-D as a formal stylistic choice has not been a necessary component to any of the films in which it was utilized. I already ranted at length about the faults of Jimmy C.’s Avatar at Playtime, and that is the one film to which nearly everyone who digs 3-D has pointed as an example of 3-D being done well. I’ve generally avoided 3-D movies at the theater; the last one I saw was The Green Hornet. The screenings of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides or Kung Fu Panda 2 that I attended were 2-D. Though boredom almost seduced me into seeing Resident Evil: Afterlife in 3-D in the theater, a vacant billfold persuaded me to stay at home instead. This last weekend, I finally caught up with it on Netflix Instant. It wasn’t very good, but then, that wasn’t really why I watched it. Continue reading
For my first post on this blog, I thought it would be prudent to create a set of links to articles I’ve already written for Playtime on topics relating in some way to religion. Sort of a house cleaning thing. I’ve touched on religious topics over there already, and I expect I will again in the future. Not all of these are even explicitly relevant to Christianity, but they provide some illumination of my continuing evolution as a critical writer, providing some context for what is to come. Be forewarned: some of these articles make liberal use of salty language.
Hey — nobody’s perfect. And I ain’t nobody.