Feb. 9th, 2011

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Being a potpourri of reviewlets.

1. "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is a perfectly acceptable, fun movie. Nothing special, but a lot better than the previous two installments in the series. a rocking Reepicheep single-mousedly pulls it out of the humdrum, but cannot make it great )

2. In contrast, consider the Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, a lovely, wonderful, fun film from France. Think of one of those children's books where the author seems to have thought up all of the most amazing and wonderful things they could have happen and then packed them all into a single story. This movie is one of those books, on film. And it's proof that not all comic book inspired movies have to be testosterone poisoned teenage boy power fantasies )

Trust me, you want to watch this one.

3. Endhiran (the Robot). I watched the "best action scene ever" excerpt from this after it showed up on Boing Boing, and was inspired to seek out the entire film. It was quite the educational experience. Jackie Chan is the #1 actor in Asia, and he is widely known in North America. Rajinikanth is #2, and few people in North America have heard of him, which is on the one hand understandable, and on the other hand a pity. musing on genre conventions and trying to comprehend the scope of Rajinikanth's popularity )

Anyway, Endhiran is a SF movie set in India's near future. Rajinikanth plays both the genius robotics engineer (Dr Vaseejaran), and his android creation, Chitti. lots of spoilers )

So, that was weird, but in a very interesting and educational way. I'll be watching one or two more Rajinikanth movies in the future, but I doubt I'll become a fan.

4. "The King's Speech" is not every bit as good as its reviews say, it is better. I was especially impressed by the way Firth portrayed a gradual slow improvement in George's stammer over the course of the movie. It's a shoo in for several Oscars, but I think it probably has greater resonance for citizens of the commonwealth than for Americans, since the newsreels and recordings and historical photos that the film goes to many pains to faithfully recreate are not part of the American cultural DNA.

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