Friday, May 29, 2009

Toil, sweat, and tears

It sucks to be repeated told you are overqualified for jobs. But on the upside ... at least they call to tell you? Um.

To console myself, I've begun a cycle of running to the beach, experimenting with various recipes and other cooking-related phenomena, and vegging out. I couldn't get into Veronica Mars after 8 episodes, so I've started The Wire. However, the neffy makes it hard to watch DVDs because he's learned how to turn the TV and DVD player on and off.

I have, however, managed to get some solid vegging done during his naps or when he and the rest of the fam are at church. . .

I'd seen the last hour of Blood Diamond several times, but I finally watched the film in its entirety. And I liked it. To be fair, though, the fact that it addressed the issues of both conflict diamonds and child soldiers got it on my good side immediately. Unfortunately, that's also the downside: the movie was more a vehicle. Leo's romance with Jennifer Connelly was a little out of place, and the story could have worked without it as well as her, and possibly him. (But, as La Otra Hermana pointed out in one of her few political commentaries that I agree with, tales about "Africa" are generally only understood by "the West" through a white experience there.) Also, I didn't quite buy Leo's mercenary -- though well-acted, the character's sudden transition from arms- and diamond-smuggler to noble humanitarian wasn't that smooth or believable.

But in all, I really liked the film. It had a compelling story with, for the most part, interesting characters. It got preachy at times, but then I guess it had to.

Sin City was different. For half the movie, I was really disturbed. For the other half, I was fascinated by the graphic-novel adaptation style and narration. In a few interlocking stories about serial killers, prostitutes, mobsters, corrupt cops and politicians, some of the plot twists were predictable; some induced cringes, as crime tales can do.

Overall, it was well done. The visuals alone were creative: comic-style animation based on real footage, drawn in black and white with only certain key colors to contrast.

I'm a sucker for narrative form that is somewhat disjointed and often incomplete, and that's part of the reason the movie fascinated me. The stories weren't necessarily that unique, but every level of presentation was.

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