December 2006: More than a Feeling (More than a Feeling!)
December 1, 4:20, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 10)
Though Borat’s anoos was broken, he was actually funnier the second time. The shock wore off to reveal that the comedy was still sound – and effing funny. Sadly, lightning won’t be able to strike twice; what can Sacha Baron Cohen do after this?
December 8, 2:10, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 11)
James Bond’s triumphant return was precisely that: triumphant. An excellent character study that managed to make a game of cards accessible and even exciting to someone who knew nothing of the rules of the game. One of my friends complained that he didn’t want to see Bond become more “human”, and felt that the story was weak: when a character is the story, as Bond was here, then actual events are less important. That said, plenty happened here and I look forward to more of Craig.
A Scanner Darkly
December 12, 7:15, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 12)
The sort of movie that I like to see, tempered by the sort of movie that Richard Linklater likes to make. It’s pretty good, regardless, although its acts are fairly viciously delineated. Overall, good stuff.
December 15, 6:30, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 4)
One of those rare pleasures where I had no idea what I was in for (rather like The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which coincidentally shared the same screenwriter credit), Babel was a marvellous treatment about that which unites and divides humanity. I loved it, and my love was not even asked for. It’s a definite DVD purchase for me.
December 19, 6:30, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 9) – ticket missing
This time I was looking for different things, and I felt more accurately the excitement of the Hold ‘Em. The audience members actually could forecast the meanings of the cards better than I, and so I heard their intake of breath: I realised that Casino Royale was palpable.
December 21, 6:30, Dendy Opera Quays (Cinema 1)
Volver is a great movie in that it sets up a conceit and then proceeds to joyously ignore it. My first experience of Almodovar, and I certainly don’t want to make it the last.
December 22, 5:15, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 5)
Worth it entirely for the horror on Ajay’s face.
December 28, 5:30, Greater Union George Street (Cinema 5)
Funny, sweet, and undemanding. No awards necessary, but nor are misogynistic complaints about “wish fulfilment”; these women were unfulfilled and they didn’t need a man to fix them: they needed some sort of meaning in their lives beyond fake ideals. If anything, it’s a vague contact with reality.
Pick of December 2006: Babel
Emotional distance dissolves into togetherness as people realise that they need each other. Harrowing, but not as depressing as my friends suggested, Babel is, I suppose, ultimately about the value of family. For this reason, it is indeed a valuable film.