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Showing posts from December, 2017

The Shape of Water – The Ethics of Love

Monsters are primitive creatures and when we go to movies about them we are going to be confronted by primitive material.  Well, there is plenty of sex, violence and black and white thinking in this movie for it to qualify as a primitive movie but, despite that, or maybe because of it, it is a delightful love story – one that is surprisingly warm – at least for the older members of the crowd who went to the movies together.  In talking about it afterwards it was surprising that the reluctant wife and I, along with her parents, were fully supportive of the interspecies coupling that was depicted, while the two reluctant (and old enough to go to a movie like this) stepdaughters found that aspect of the film to be not just off putting but morally reprehensible.  They, who are generally on the side of all things liberal and progressive, became quite dismissive of the idea that humans should pair with anything but other humans.
We enter the film on an underwater ocean dive where we come a…

Paterson- Was Kylo Ren Really a Bus Driver?

The Indy Movie Paterson showed up in our mailbox the day after watching Star Wars – The Last Jedi and imagine our surprise to see Kylo Ren, Jedi drop-out, master of the Dark Side and would be master of the Universe driving a bus and writing poetry in Paterson, New Jersey.  This quirky little film was on our watch list because it had been well reviewed and we had not had a chance to see it.  How refreshing to see an actor,Adam Driver, who can portray both ends of a very broad spectrum of ethical functioning.  I had actually been concerned by what I considered to be his semitic features in his role as Darth Vader’s heir apparent.  So it was with some relief that a quick Google search clarified that he was raised a choir boy and that his stepfather is a pastor.  According to Wikipedia, he was a bit of a terror as a kid, and he sold Fuller brushes after high school before joining the Marines and then ultimately ending up at Julliard to hone his acting chops.
In Paterson, he plays a local…

Star Wars – The Last Jedi

The central problem in this film is also the central problem with the film.  Our Hero, Luke Skywalker, the young, brash and impetuous fighter for all that is right and good, has grown old and bitter and withdrawn from the galaxy.  When Ray, the next generation force gifted woman hungry for training tracks him down and shows up on his doorstep – the final scene in the last film – Luke has no interest in her and no interest in training her in the first scene in this film - and his refusal is hardly believable.  What happened?  Well, the movie explains the steps that led to this point, but the more central question is, what has happened to Luke the character and Mark Hamill the actor?  The answer within the movie is provided by Ray; Luke has closed himself off to the force.  As for Mark Hamill, playing an old curmudgeon seems to no longer allow the force to be with him either.  The flatness of a forceless central character felt to me, as I watched the film, to be a central flaw of the f…