Steven Soderbergh’s Bubble

BubbleAs a look into the lives of factory workers in an economically depressed town turns into a noir (as Steven Soderbergh himself notes on the commentary track), I caught a whiff of class anthropology. That said, I understand Soderbergh’s point that critics’ charges of exploitation are condescending; the non-actors are intelligent human beings who wholly knew what they were getting into.

With this project, Soderbergh is tackling several unknowns at once: high-definition video, the feasibility of simultaneous release, and the storytelling device of drawing on the real-life experiences of non-actors. How does one tell if an experiment is a success when there are so many variables?

Daily Dork Report for March 2, 2006

  • Wow, dude from Dominos is straight-up hard-core Catholic, baby. Watch your tail, Chick-fil-a.
  • Steampunk Transformers, with art by… Ted McKeever?! Isn’t that sort of like hiring David Lynch to direct G.I. Joe?
  • Mickey is now a one-button mouse.
  • My difficult-to-pronounce boy from Philly is certainly a big-spender.
  • This is simultaneously fascinating and enraging. I sympathize with parents who don’t have time to keep up with popular culture and need an unbiased information source to judge for themselves whether or not a movie is appropriate for their kids, but I don’t think this is it. Who are these people? Who appointed them? I’m worried they are indirectly censoring films, under the guise of informing parents. It’s about the children, you understand.
  • Let’s see, what did we get out of Apple’s latest extravaganza:
    • iPod Hi-Fi: No doubt a fun toy for flush audiofiles, but kinda useless for a New York City apartment-dweller like myself.
    • Mac Mini: Take out the video card, add a remote control, and it costs $100 more? Although to be totally honest, I must admit I don’t really understand what a video card does. While the whole concept of a Mac media center thingie on my TV sounds really neat, the price hike completely soured it for me.
    • Leather iPod Case: insanely overpriced cow-flesh sleeve with no access to the face. In other words, it’s designed specifically to scratch your iPod. I just have to join in the chorus here: What were they thinking?
  • Thank goodness that during the phenomenal catastrophe that was Katrina, Bush was watching a lot of television and asking a lot of good questions.
  • Absolute Sandman. Darn. Guess I wasted my time and money tracking down those first-edition hardcovers on eBay…

Portions of today’s blockbuster Dork Report were brought to you by Andrea & Dave.

Kelly Macdonald and Bill Nighy bond over extreme poverty in The Girl in the Café

Richard Curtis and David Yates’ The Girl in the Café, a BBC movie aired in the US on HBO, was incredibly cute, and my heartstrings were indeed pulled, but I couldn’t shake the sense the love story was mere dressing for the real purpose of the film: explicating the issue of extreme poverty to help warm the public up for Live 8. Of course, I feel heartless for criticizing this aspect of it.

Plus, the age difference between Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald was so vast that — forget about their characters’ conflict over whether to battle or defer to stubborn politicians — it’s an issue unto itself. But if possible to overlook that, it’s a perfectly charming and lovely movie.

Reykjavik should hereby pass an ordinance decreeing its name shall heretoforth be spoken only in Macdonald’s Scottish accent.

Daily Dork Report for February 27, 2006

Daily Dork Report for February 24, 2006

Daily Dork Report for February 21, 2006

Daily Dork Report for February 18, 2006

Eight Below

Eight BelowMore dogs! Fewer people! In fact, how about no people at all? Then this two-plus hour slog could be transformed into a nice hour of lovely nature photography and cute fluffy pups fighting adversity.

I hope Disney makes it clear this is a PG film not for the really little ones, for there’s a scene in there that scared the bejeezus out of a room full of seasoned adults. But it is often too cute; most notably in the scene where the dogs suddenly begin “talking” to each other. And the lovable canines remain plump and well-groomed despite starving in the tundra for 3 months.

The 40 Year Old Virgin

The 40 Year-Old VirginLike Something About Mary and American Pie, sometimes the most well-observed character-based comedies come in disguise as crass gross-outs. They also have a tendency towards saccharine sweetness, but there are worse crimes.

La Cité des enfants perdus (The City of Lost Children)

City of Lost ChildrenAfter having my mind blown by Delicatessen in college, I managed to catch The City of Lost Children in the 1995 Cambridge, England film festival. Any bits of my brain left over were blown out again.

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