This Week in Geek (11-17/08/14)


Three DVDs this week, Orphan Black Season 2, Community Season 5, and on the advice of a new time travel podcast by fellow Canadian internauts David Fiore and Elise Moore called Another Kind of Distance, Portrait of Jennie. They're getting me to be buy all the time travel movies I don't already have! Belated birthday gift from favorite friend Isabel: Casablanca and Theater of Blood!


DVDs: Reviewed Pacific Rim when it came out in theaters, and I don't think my opinion changed viewing it in a different format, though perhaps my appreciation for the film has grown. My main problem with it before was that the dialog was lackluster and the characters too archetypal. Visually, of course, it's flawless. This has led me to look at the movie in a different way, and I really do believe you could take out all the dialog and completely understand what's going on. Guillermo del Toro gets so much visual detail in that you don't need the words. I like how, in the extras, he talks about eye candy, but also eye protein. Does that make him the anti-Michael Bay? I sort of think so when I compare what Bay has to say about his process and del Toro's thoughtful, rapid-fire commentary track. A second disc holds nearly two hours' worth of featurettes about all sorts of elements and sequences, revealing among other things how much of the film was actually filmed practically, plus bios of certain characters as we look at their lives through the drift (these satisfactorily explain what's up with Raleigh's accent), animatics, design art, deleted scenes, and a blooper reel. A nice package.

The Fighter is David O. Russell's attempt at a sports movie, so of course, while I think the boxing sequences are excellent, it's a lot more about the character drama and creating characters and dynamics we haven't really seen before, but that have the undeniable carp of truth. It's a true story too, filmed where it happened, with some of the people who lived it, and with the principals involved and on set as Mark Whalberg and Christian Bale played them. Bale's role as the crack head former boxing star is transformative, but he still doesn't steal every scene, not sharing the stage with the equally outrageous Melissa Leo, or the steely emotion-behind-the-eyes performances of Amy Adams and Wahlberg, the latter an up-and-comer who doubts himself because he's been so mismanaged by his family. By turns funny, touching and exciting, The Fighter also delivers on sports action. Wahlberg is visibly boxing for real and the fights were filmed in a short amount of time by HBO crews skilled in capturing event fights live. It all looks very real, because it nearly is. I'm really discovering O. Russell's stuff in what was for me the blank between Three Kings and American Hustle, and I haven't hit a sour note yet. The DVD includes a director's commentary and a making of that doesn't skimp on talking to the real people represented in the film.

Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
V.i. Ophelia's Funeral - Hamlet 2000



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