Deception

Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Nolan is one of those directors who flatters his audiences into thinking they are intelligent — at least in the half of his output which tries to be thinky, rather than the superhero tosh which somehow gets away with have a Gotham City that is so male that Batman and one of the villains are dating the same woman.

Oh, and gotta kill those wives.

With the possible exception of The Prestige (which flattens its source material), it’s been downhill since Following and Memento. (I confess I’ve not seen Insomnia, as I suspect it is not in the same league as Erik Skjoldbjærg’s original.)

Part of me is happy to see Michael Caine in anything, but as with Bill Nighy and Tilda Swinton, sometimes I suffer for their art.

I had seen Inception before — on DVD — and, appropriately, I’d forgotten most of it, aside from the criminal underuse of Ellen Page. So, the big screen rerelease to drum up interest in Tenet seemed like a good reason to see it large. And inevitably, I have to talk about the ending. Continue reading →

Moby Duck

Moby Dick (Trey Stokes, 2010)

Curiously the DVD has a trailer for another version of Moby-Dick, with Danny Glover and … dragons. I want.

In this version we have Captain Ahab (Barry Bostwick) as one of two survivors of an attack by an incredibly huge white whale on a submarine in Soviet waters in 1969. Ahab has stolen, or at least acquired, a nuclear sub and kidnaps the leading whale expert to try and track the behemoth down. He has a tape of the whale he wants her to play to call it into a position where they can kill it.

So the whale goes all bat-shit and attacks tourist boats and a cruise liner until a fight with the USS Essex and a showdown with the Pequod. Ahab rants hilariously, as the other characters exchange looks of disbelief, perhaps at his madness, perhaps at the dialogue. Derek Scott as the whale expert’s assistant manages to steal the film from beneath their noses.

Oh yes, this is bad, but in a way that Jupiter Ascending can only aspire to.

Inheritance Rites

TRON: Legacy (Joseph Kosinski, 2010)

tronSo, I accidentally saw TRON: Legacy.

I’d planned to watch it, but I wanted to rewatch TRON (Steven Lisberger, 1982) first, but it turned out that the bar code was slapped across the word Legacy in a somewhat misleading manner.

So I’m coming to this without having seen TRON since 1999 or 2000, whenever it is I wrote the Pocket Essentials Cyberpunk volume.

There will be spoilers.

Continue reading →