Things watched on 9/4:
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (Wayne Wang, 2008). Wang’s output is mystifying–he’s made some beauties (especially Smoke), some disasters, and one kiddie movie I am practically alone in defending (Because of Winn-Dixie). This one is extremely mild, and is noticeably harmed by being shot on video. (full review 9/19)
Trumbo (Peter Askin, 2007). Dalton Trumbo had an interesting life, and heroically raised his middle finger to the anti-American shenanigans of the blacklist, but this movie goes wrong in having actors deliver ultra-dramatic readings of his writings. (full review 9/12)
Republican National Convention, final day. It lacked the Riefenstahlian flavor of the previous night’s series of speeches, frankly. Two points: the blue-screen thing behind the speakers was a bust (it probably looked good in the hall, but that’s not the point of a convention), and the drunken-frat-boy chant of “USA! USA!” is the creepiest new constant of political rallies since the advent of the faux-hand-painted sign.
The X-Files, “The Post-Modern Prometheus” (Chris Carter, 1997). Watched this for a Frankenstein book I am writing, the episode being a black-and-white goof on the Universal classics. Interesting, but I still haven’t cozied up to the unstable variables of the X-Files tone.