You know what both the sparseness of this page and the relative lateness of this post should say?
"Catching up on some reading."
I won't lie, as much as I love doing this blog and writing reviews and such, it's been pretty cool to leave my personal laptop at home and just tear into books on my commute. Last week, I knocked off both Christa Faust's Choke Hold and Greg Rucka's Queen & Country: The Last Run in little over a day each, and have worked my way to about the midpoint of Chohei Kambayashi's Good Luck, Yukikaze. And seeing how the shelves of unread books in my house are right there with the shelves of unwatched movies, this is kind of a good thing.
Not that it was really a bad week, just one where my exits from work didn't really sync with a lot of movies starting and what I did see was middling. Crooked Arrows was how I spent a warm Memorial Day morning before throwing some beef on the grill, and it was an amiable sports movie about an underdog Native American lacrosse team that was so non-confrontational that you could tell it had been produced by the Onondaga Nation and a group of lacrosse enthusiasts. Battleship is an adorably literal and sincere movie, but you kind of have to inject a little metatextual awareness to enjoy it - part of the fun is observing how the filmmakers handle the challenge of making a straightforward action movie out of a completely abstract board game without getting all self-parodying. And Elena is some spectacular craft that could really use a nudge toward being a more conventional thriller; it spends the first half demanding close observation but not giving the audience something to apply that observation to.
(Aside - apparently there's a Boston Online Film Critics Society now, and I wasn't invited. Part may be that I'm a non-pro not really seeking to make this a job; part may be that I do things like talk about how much fun a goofy action movie made from a board game is while an award-winning Russian drama could stand to be more of a thriller.)
Oh, one other thing - I watched the first 2/3 of Hatfields & McCoys, and it probably says something that when my DVR screwed up on part 3, I wasn't hugely distraught about not knowing when there's be a re-run. It looks nice and is another decent collaboration between Kevin Costner and Kevin Reynolds (with Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Tom Berenger, Jena Malone, and a pretty good cast all around), but I don't know if there's really four and a half hours of story. Interestingly, it does feel like one long movie rather than something with two cliffhangers or clean breaks, but I wondered if it could maybe have been two and a half - still epic-sized, but not so much like a box score.
One thing I did think while watching it: It's a crying shame for Kevin Costner that he only gets to do a Western (or something like it) every five or ten years, and that he never really embraced playing villains. I mean, he had a good run for ten years or so, but he became a somewhat generic movie star when he could have carved out a great little niche.