This Sunday was hot, so it was the blessed AC at (and passes, the only reason to brave) The Pacific Theaters at The Grove. I won't go into the idea that in the midst of an actual city comprised of actual neighborhoods that people want to congregate in a bad simulacrum of some town square in Iowa; just the endless piped-in music makes me pray for the big one. But I had passes, soooo...
First up was "Mamma Mia" and a good time was had. I love that this is making money and am shocked that Hollywood is shocked that this, along with "Sex and the City" would make money. This if anything should put paid to the idea that the Gays control Hollywood. Hello! If we did, these movies are all you would see! C'mon: Meryl bouncing around, singing up a storm and playing around in a role that she is truthfully 20 years too old for? (before you throw stones, she's supposed to be the mother of a 20 year old, the product of a youthful, serial fling when she was a dancing queen of 17. Do the math) Not to mention the movie doesn't make the point that it's happening in, say 1999. Because that free-love could have happened in '79. Trust me in '89 there was no free love. There was no shared chap-stik.
Later was "Brideshead Revisited". I will reserve most judgements until I can re-read the novel that I last read about 1978 or perhaps revisit the miniseries that Netflix refuses to send to me, but I think that the movie simplifies and dumbs down both for modern audiences. The people in the novel are almost alien to modern audiences, for good or bad (I vote good) the idea of repressing ones self in the name of religion, class or what's generally considered to be good taste is in these days as obsolete as the crank that Charles and then Sebastian uses to start his car. As a matter of fact modernity and good taste conspire to smother this movie: modernity in that the relationship between Charles and Sebastian can be neatly boxed in a single uncomfortable kiss and good taste manages to strangle much of the rest. But if you've never read the book or seen the 1981 miniseries, you'll have a good time.
The only other thing that struck me is that the guy who plays Charles and I have exactly the same eye color, even to being green, grey or blue depending upon the clothes. That and the fact I was mentally registering the crystal. silverware, statuary and drapery I suppose reflects upon the whole experience as stuff-porn rather than being engaging as actual storytelling. But I am all over the stuff-porn, especially when it's this high grade: this is Columbian Flake Stuff-Porn, delivered by high-cheekboned earnest RSC actors. For G-d's sake Emma Thompson's here, dead as smelt, directed to take a role that is supposed to be captivating but..
Oh go see it. Any movie that's designed to be for someone who is thinking, like this. deserves it.
So, the three of you who might read this and who might or might not channel Anthony Blanche, what did you think?