Tuesday, January 12, 2016

This Week In Tickets: 3 January 2016 - 10 January 2016

Slow start to the year, for reasons good and indifferent. Mostly good, though.

This Week in Tickets

This Week in Tickets

On the one hand, I actually got a fair amount of unpacking done in the apartment after only climbing over stuff.for five or six months (depending on how you want to count time in Montreal). It kind of left me in the mood to see something but not with stuff I wanted to see but naff not yet lined up, so it was a choice between second viewings of Star Wars and The Hateful Eight. The Force Awakens won out, and continued to please me.

Work kept me later than I'd have liked the next couple of days (and Carol was what got pre-empted by the local theater showing Sherlock: The Abominable Bride), but I was able to get to the Brattle for one of their modern noir double features, Against All Odds and D.O.A. '88, which wound up being a really fun night, even if it did make me decide that I will have to catch the Super Mario Brothers movie at some point.

The next night I went downtown for The Himalayas, a not-bad-but-not great Korean import making it to American screens just a few weeks after opening back in its native land. Not quite as packed as Chinese films have been by a long shot, but it wasn't too long ago when they were the things getting rate and erratic releases and correspondingly tiny audiences.

Then on Saturday, I headed up to Make to help surprise my brother for his 40th birthday, which was a lot of fun - his longtime friends got their old band (mostly) back together, there was bowling with both out-of-shape adults and adorable little children, and I got to see folks I don't see often enough (hi, Justin & Jerry!). I was back in Boston Sunday afternoon, but it was raining hard enough for me not to venture back out, especially with the Red Line replaced by shuttles between Kendall and Park.

I did work my way all the way through my True Detective season 2 Blu-rays over the course of the week, though. I can see why a lot of folks were disappointed compared to the first season - that one caught lightning in a bottle with perfect casting, genuine creepiness, and a strong single directorial hand to go along with the writer, while season 2 was just a pretty good crime story. That's not nothing, though, and I think it's a shame that Vince Vaughn giving his best performance in years is likely to get overlooked. I think it veered off course a bit in the end with what felt like an almost obligatory pairing of the lead actor and actress, and the squandering of some fairly interesting supporting characters. Still, good crime series that can't measure up to something fairly impossible to repeat.

Next up: Relatively little, since I'm on a business trip to Texas and there is nothing within walking distance to my hotel.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

* * * ½ (out of four)
Seen 3 January 2016 in AMC Boston Common #2 (first-run, 3D Imax)

I probably could have guessed my reaction to seeing The Force Awakens a second time in theaters in relatively short order without difficulty: Still darn entertaining, but not eliciting tingles the way it did the first time around. I wonder whether it will be similar next year, when we get a new Star Wars movie without much wait between it and the previous one. I'm not sure how taking Star Wars for granted sits with me.

Fortunately, it's not a movie that crumbles upon a second viewing. Indeed, it's kind of fun to watch Harrison Ford as he starts to hear Rey's life story; I don't particularly want to be one of the fans that boosts a work by replying on a highly interpolated filing-in of the blanks, but I do think that a lot of the gripes about how certain characters act fall away if you read Han as recognizing Rey's tale as the flip side of something he knows but wanting to make sure before getting her hopes up - it explains an abrupt cut after he is asked who she is, Leia seeming so close at first sight, and a number of other things. It still means J.J. Abrams hid certain scenes for no better reason than to preserve a mystery for later, which is a legitimate knock on the film itself, but it becomes a needless omission rather than characters being portrayed improperly.

But, as I said, I don't want to cling too hard to this idea and potentially wind up disappointed if Rian Johnson goes a different way. That'd be stupid.

Beyond that, though - still a lot of fun. I love the new characters, the action is a lot of fun, and it's still some of the best 3D work I've seen. I may catch this another time or two whole it's on the big screen, and I almost never do that sort of first-run repeat viewing.

Full review (from two weeks ago) on EFC.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Against All Odds & D.O.A. '88

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