Sunday, July 24, 2011
Episode 1035: WiFi, How I Have Missed Thee!
Originally, I didn't think I'd watch all that many films on the return flight, having exhausted the options that appealed on the flight to London. In the end though, I still made it through four. Toast is based on Nigel Slater's autobiographical novel of the same name, and while there was less food in it than I'd been led to believe, I still enjoyed the film very much. (Coincidentally, Issue 1 - Ramen of Lucky Peach, McSweeney's new magazine, was waiting for me on the table when I got home from the airport!) Then I saw The Joy Luck Club, another book-to-film adaptation, and it was a dreary two hours. I feel like I've seen this film before, or at least parts of it. It is also horribly racist in the way it perpetrates stereotypes about Chinese American families. I'm sure there's truth to be found in it (one of the plot strands reflects Amy Tan's own experience of discovering she has half-sisters her mother left behind in mainland China), except there's no subtlety to be found here and things get really saccharine by the end of the film. The next film I saw, Battle For Terra was entertaining enough. Visually pleasing, but failed to break new ground in storytelling (it's basically a low-budget Avatar that came out a couple of years before Avatar), except for when one of the chief protagonists was allowed to die in a blaze of sacrificial glory. Lastly, I saw Confession Of Pain, which had both Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Takeshi Kaneshiro looking suitably brooding. I did think it was a little weird for the identity of the killer to be given away so early in the film though, as then the only outstanding question was why did he do it, and the audience is strung along until almost the very end before everything's properly revealed.