I’m heading back to Boston now, but before I go I thought I mention a few comment-worthy movies I’ve seen lately.
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
I saw this in Florida at the Silver Screen Cafe and Cinema, an odd, run-down little place combining the properties of a terrible second-run picture house and a terrible hole-in-the-wall diner. Patrons sit at tables in the small, mostly empty theaters, eating (in my case) bland, cold chicken nachos and watch unpopular movies on the fuzzy projector and nearly incomprehensible sound system.
The movie is not really bad, but it is quite puzzling. It is either a children’s movie about death with a drizzle of obscure SAT vocabulary, or an adult movie without any adult message. Consistency is basically not a goal, and so characters switch back and forth between blandly accepting the store’s obvious magical qualities and blandly denying them, without any punctuation. It seems to be part of a growing genre of “why would you make this movie?” movies featuring amazingly talented all-star casts.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
My brother somehow convinced my family to watch the 4-hour-long BBC movie of Pride and Prejudice. It’s really very good, in terms of scripting and acting, and the screen presentation does a great deal to dodge some of the trickier points in the book. The attention to period detail is wonderful, and even the choreography and camera work is often impressive. If you have 4 hours, possibly not all in one day, it’s a worthwhile production.
I’d read a of this movie a few months ago, so when I saw it in Blockbuster I immediately recognized it as the Russian vampire movie featuring a deadly ferris wheel rolling through the streets of Moscow. I had no idea what I was in for.
Daywatch is the sequel to Nightwatch, which I have not seen, and it is in Russian, with decent but not great subtitles. Very little attempt is made to explain what is going on, and I had to work pretty hard to piece together the plot. I could list about 10 things that I still don’t understand. Nonetheless, it was fantastic. It’s a beautiful movie, with a soundtrack to match, set in an incredibly imaginative universe where vampires can’t drink blood without a license, issued by the Good-Evil coalition board. In typically Russian fashion, this means that proud lower-class vampire fathers try to curry favor with higher-ups to fast-track their sons’ licenses.
I recommend seeing Daywatch, but it would be even better to see Nightwatch first. I intend to see Nightwatch as soon as I get the chance.