last week's movies

We had to buy a new coffee pot earlier this week, and it wasn't until today that we figured out that its "cups" are calibrated differently than our old coffee maker. So we weren't using quite enough coffee each morning (we knew it tasted a little off, but hadn't worked out the math appropriately). So today, I feel so much smarter, and happier. It's all about getting the perfect chemical balance.

In order to keep to my new year's goal of tracking my moviewatching, some quick notes from last weekend:
  • Children of Men: I enjoyed this one -- I think even folks who aren't much on futuristic dystopias have been liking it too. Gritty and yet beautiful; a dark vision of the future that seemed more plausible than many other films. Clive Owens is excellent, and I liked it as a film, but I did leave wondering what else might have been part of the novel -- I'm afraid some of the philosophizing and the quest for belief in the film for me took a back seat to the action. I suspect I might have had a deeper response to the book -- or at least I would know better where the book stood in terms of breeder politics. (I couldn't help but suspect that I was dragged into somehow caring about a prolife tract disguised as a film -- but I don't know anything about the novel to know whether that's actually the case.)
  • Pan's Labyrinth: Not to my taste. A couple friends of mine loved this movie, which blends fanciful dreamscapes with an account of fascism in Spain. But I prefer there to be a logical coherence that wasn't there (either have it all be a fanciful world, or a realistic one -- not both), and was quite repelled by the film's luxuriating in scenes of torture. Yes, maybe there's meant to be some kind of message in combining a child's fairytale with gruesome mutilations, but I found it really missed the mark and didn't hook me in. Ultimately I couldn't really care about any of the characters -- they all seemed too flat: "innocent girl" "heroic rebel" etc. Blech.
  • (TV) We've been working our way through the beginning of the 3rd season of BSG, which we were able to record from the rerun marathon 2 weeks ago. We might eventually even catch up to the current airings of the season's second part. Though it is kind of nice not to have to wait an entire week between episodes. This season is really taking on different kinds of issues -- larger political ones, and the characters' relationships are much more complicated too. As an odd counterpart, we've been watching the first few episodes of Rome -- I haven't fully committed to the show, as it seems very well done but kind of slow. But it's interesting to see how these dramas might connect or resonate with each other.