Friday, January 11, 2013

Some end of week Media: Bernie, Where Danger Lives, Ghosts of Belfast, Downton Abbey

Watched two completely different movies tonight.  Bernie and Where Danger Lives.  These days I'm re-watching movies less and trying to see new things more.

Bernie was shot somewhat locally by Austin-based filmmaker Richard Linklater and got a lot of local praise when the movie was released, but I don't know how far and wide it was seen outside of Texas.  A true story of a mortician (Jack Black) and his nebulous relationship with an older woman (Shirley MacLaine) and how everything's relative in a small town in Texas, including murder.

I'd heard a lot of good things, and the locals both cut into the movie in "interview" segments and playing themselves were a very clever twist.  I just wasn't sure the movie actually worked all that well, especially as the murder - which is a matter of public record - doesn't come til the 2/3rds mark...

Probably worth a spin sometime.

Also watched Where Danger Lives with Robert Mitchum, and it's sort of a studio-friendly take on the Detour concept.  Frankly, that is one crazy movie and I'll need to watch it again.  It's so noir, it's almost dripping black off the screen, with Mitchum getting in way, way over his head, while drunk and concussed with a classic femme fatale who doesn't have Ann Savage's brutal, sexy cruelty, but has her own more recognizable looney-tunes-ness.  It's a great "and mistakes were made" kind of story.  Bonus points for brazen sexuality in a 1950 film, all through a lack of camera movement and a few key lines of dialog.

Started listening to the audiobook of The Ghosts of Belfast.  It's an interesting book thus far, and I wish I knew more about the history of the IRA, but even what little I do know is sort of keeping me up to speed.

Last night we tried our first episode of Downton Abbey.  I can't say I exactly see what the big deal is, but it was the pilot.  We'll try again later.  I do not get hot and bothered often by Upstairs/ Downstairs-type dramas, and it's so over the top, it does feel like camp.  Is this show supposed to be camp?  Someone help me out.

All right.  I'm tired.  I'm going to bed.
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