Spent the early part of last week on a business trip, and, man, it was like the only part of Texas that doesn't have an Alamo Drafthouse.
Then again, there's a whole lot of nothing in at least the part of Frisco, Texas where I was staying and meeting. I mean, big empty space across the highway from the hotel, nothing but parking lots, malls, and office parks all around, the only sign of any local color an oversized training facility for the Cowboys.
Then again, it was in the mid-50s there. That was nice for the few minutes I was outside of the office.
Got back on the horse Thursday night, though, catching the first third of the Arabian Nights Trilogy, which I wound up doing on an every-other-night schedule, seeing part two on Saturday and the conclusion on Monday. I liked the middle portion most, and the finale is kind of weird, but that's not technically part of this week, is it?
Friday night, I was trying for a double feature, but cut things a bit too tight. Still, the intended first half, Band of Robbers, is a lot of fun, a modern-day riff on Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that is both more clever and more willing to do its own thing to be entertaining than expected.
Saturday morning was given to the Chlotrudis nomination meeting, which went fairly quick although I did get frustrated at the points when people seemed to be trying to force the sort of results they want rather than letting them happen, and I'll never really get the part at the end where you can nominate things you haven't seen for the signature "Buried Treasure" award.
It meant seeing two movies I wanted instead of three on Saturday, limiting them to the ones which were time-sensitive, starting off with a 35mm print of Mad Max: Fury Road, because when Fury Road is playing on the big screen, you go. Then, a little later, you catch the second part of Arabian Nights.
It would have been easier if I could just hang out in Harvard Square all day, but I had some babysitting of a SQL query to do for work, which kept me fairly tied to the apartment all day, although it was finished in time to get to Boston Common for Detective Chinatown, the latest Chinese import, which proved surprisingly entertaining, although that was partially because the trailer was kind of incomprehensible if you don't speak Mandarin.
Next week: Looks like more Arabian Nights and plenty more Chinese film.
Mad Max: Fury Road
* * * * (out of four)
Seen 16 January 2016 in the Brattle Theatre (Some of the Best of 2015, 35mm)
This movie was not shot on film, but let's face it, film always looks better, even in such a case, and even when the print is kind of beat up, likely from being one of just a few struck for the theatrical release that's been used quite a bit, and thus has more than a few scratches on it.
It's still a pretty fantastic movie, although not necessarily one that acquires more depth upon multiple viewings, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The feminist themes are pretty obvious from the first viewing, and Miller doesn't bury what he's doing there. Fortunately, the action holds up, which is no minor thing; you see something multiple times, you're not discovering something new, so it's got to be damn good to continue to impress.
And it does. There's not a moment of action that doesn't still impress, it's so perfectly designed, and the pacing and build-up is just right. Perhaps the best sign of its greatness is the giddy feeling I get when the war rig barrels past Immortan Joe and his party on the way back, because that's' the moment when, even the first time through, it's clear that all the chasing that has been going on thus far is just the lead-up to this one, which is going to continue right up until the end, and it's going to be even more fantastic than what we've already seen, and the film doesn't disappoint.
I wouldn't mind at all if this became another movie like Raiders of the Lost Ark, where I obviously have a copy but where it plays often enough on the big screen that I seldom if ever need to use it.
What I thought back in October.