Monday, July 03, 2006

Reviews

Superman Returns

Not a perfect movie, but certainly watchable. If your TV is big enough, maybe you want to rent it. Kate Bosworth is fine, but Kevin Spacey continues his post-Usual Suspects losing streak. The biggest problem is that they decided not to start tabula rasa, and instead worked with a lot of the aspects of the previous movies, including the sucky version of Lex Luthor. Overall, I'd put Superman Returns on the same level as X-Men 3.

Some random notes:

-I dislike Parker Posey immensely.
-What the hell is Kumar doing in this film?
-Brandon Routh managed not to make me laugh at the Superman get-up. This is an impressive and important achievement.

The Folly of Empire

This book is by John Judis, and compares the foreign policies of Bush to Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Excellent work, especially one of the later chapters that makes explicit the case that Iraq was an imperial war, waged to colonize Iraq. I thought that Judis was a bit easy on Roosevelt and Wilson, but he makes a strong argument that both men have been fundamentally misunderstood by current thinkers. People forget that Roosevelt (who began as an ardent, unapologetic Imperialist) ended his career as a realist, while Wilson (whose legacy is now used to justify Iraq, among other atrocities) began his career by realizing that you can't bring democracy at the point of the sword. Obviously relevant today.

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

Saw this last week at the Bloor Cinema, and it's fantastic. Tells the story of Sophie Scholl and her brother, who were tried and executed for the heinous crime of handing out anti-Nazi pamphlets at Munich University. Oh yeah, it was 1943. The movie is excellently written, and there are times that are eerie - like the Bill O'Reilly-esque judge who condemns the Scholls to death. But the movie does tend to leave me with a feeling of impotence. After all, the Scholls believed that they could spark a revolution that would bring the Nazis down before the war turned in to a disaster for Germany. Of course, that didn't happen. I don't know if it was the director's intention, but the movie does highlight a number of small acts of rebellion by Nazi functionaries, whether they be prison guards or whatnot. I was left with the feeling that the Scholls were really no more effective than the guard who gave them a smoke before their execution.

Oh, and I'm reading The Car that Could about the EV1, with Dresden: Tuesday February 13, 1945 on deck. Which leads to interesting conversations with my girlfriend like this:

Me: I'm loving this book, but it makes me so angry I want to shoot someone in the face.

GF: Then read something less upsetting. [looks at next book on pile.] You know, like the firebombing of Dresden.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Parker Posey is an acquired taste. The point with Posey is that there is a layer of acting underneath the layer of Posey. Most other actors do it backwards.

Bob McManus

celestialspeedster said...

You can't possibly equate Superman Returns with X3. I cannot even begin to tell you how wrong it is to equate Brett Ratner's work with Bryan Singer's.
The short of it is: I never appreciated how good the first two X-Men movies were until I saw X3. Maybe in about 20 years, someone merciful will replace X3 with a better movie the same way Bryan Singer replaced Superman 3 with Superman Returns.