Feb 112017

I haven’t read, hadn’t even heard of the text being adapted here—Austin’s “Lady Susan” and called a novella in the credits—but watching it, something about this unstoppable woman with her American friend made me imagine Austin writing with Henry James sitting at her elbow whispering in her ear. (Although obviously I hear the echo because she was whispering in his.)

My pleasures here are pretty specific and fully non-literary. I think Kate Beckinsale is great in even her worst movies (and am bothered that everyone else doesn’t), so seeing her in something wonderful is, well, wonderful.

And Tom Bennet’s Lord Martin may be the most perfect comic invention of 2016. His idea of what a good-natured simpleton trying to appear to be a sophisticated nobleman looks like had me in tears. I need a Martin in my gang of friends.

Jan 142013

Total Recall was not as bad as everyone said. It was pastiche, yes. But I had the impression that if it had told its own story (rather than retelling a previous one) it would have seemed more successful. What I mean is very literal: if someone dubbed it into another language using a different script, the same shots and edit would seem much better.

Looper is very good. A clearly and economically presented premise, that is elegantly developed to an unexpected(ly) satisfying conclusion.

Given how rare it is to see even decent science fiction movies, I feel giddy at seeing two that I enjoyed in the same week.