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MINI REVIEWS PART THREE

13 July 2005

Welcome back to another episode of mini [movie]reviews straight from the portable mini-DVD-player o? love! Some time has passed and quite some new things were seen. Let?s take a look.

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban: Hurrah! Harry has become even more of an adult movie. Although it does jerk a bit that there?s less enjoyable ?roundness? in the movie in terms of convoluted plots and every minute being stuffed with globules of magical teenage fantasy, it?s pleasing to see that the movie?s far more streamlined and grown up. And I?m not talking about that it?s become scarier or anything because that?s debatable. I?m talking about a coming of age of the imagery. Instead of everything looking like Willy Wonka?s factory, there?s a monochrome green sheen over everything. The symbolism has gone from pumpkins and sweets to heavy clockworks and other decor that?s more laden with weight and importance. But surprisingly, the one thing that I liked most about this movie were its transitions. It would occasionally show a shot slowly fading in through a circular mask, which gave it a theatre-like feel reminiscent of German expressionist movies from the beginning of the 20th century. Very nice.

Twin Peaks: I never would have seen this if Wolfgang hadn?t pushed it on me. I knew vaguely what Twin Peaks was and that there was something of a cult-following surrounding it. But I never gave it much attention. So I was nicely surprised by what Frost and Lynch had cooked up for us. The whole thing brims with 80s and all its shoulderlength perms and whatnot, but there?s a pleasant weirdness going on that I take a liking to. Special Agent Dale Cooper is awesome with his damn good coffee and pie-obsession. It?s really a character-driven thing. I?m going to seek out some other David Lynch-stuff now.

American Splendour: Biographical film about an autobiographical comic. Harvey Pecar is an awkward, but sympathetic loser trudging through life, until he begins to write up his own story as a comic, which becomes an underground hit and... actually doesn?t change his life at all. Sure, he gets on the Letterman talkshow now and then, and he meets his third wife through it, but he?s never able to shake his job as a file-clerk and alway stays the same guy. In the end, I think the comic did pull him through. It?s a nice movie, uplifting, unlike a lot of other biographies which I usually don?t like at all.

Dead Men Don?t Wear Plaid: Steve Martin spoofing the film noir, actually USING old film noir footage. It?s a hit and miss affair, more misses than hits unfortunately, but that seems to be the story of Steve Martin?s career. I so WANT the guy to be funny and make excellent movies, but for some reason... for some stupid reason...

That?s all for today! Tune in next time!

Roderick.