Sunday, March 08, 2009

taking a moment to feed my blog, on a springy, daylight saved day in southern New England... I downloaded a word processor called Jarte (and you can too). it is a simple word processor without a lot of extras. writers do not necessarily need all those extras as offered by Word and OpenOffice, both of which I regularly use. it occurred to me that I get the same jolt from getting a new word processor as I do a new pen or notebook. just as a new pen or notebook seems to open possibilities, likewise different word processors. just the difference of the interface, I guess. changing where I write has always seemed to come thru in the writing. watched portions of 3 movies yesterday, while doing other things.
  1. that movie by the Farrelly Brothers about Siamese twins, starring Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear. clearly a South Parkian willingness to risk bad taste. Damon and Kinnear are connected at the waist, they share a liver. while their condition is occasionally awkward it is never disabling. it helps that they can switch sides at times, which is not explained and is barely pointed to. it is a surprisingly goodhearted movie. playing somewhat against type, Kinnear is the confident one and Damon is tremulous.
  2. that smoking industry movie starring Aaron Eckert. his character is a lot like his role in Dark Knight. his character is a crisply accomplished and efficient lawyer defending the tobacco industry. he is pretty charismatic.
  3. Troy. seeing the trailer at the theatre had me, specifically the shot from above of the 1000 face-launched ships headed towards Troy. I have seen it several times and enjoy it, tho it has its weaknesses. the gods have been excluded from the story, which is okay. Zeus and the gang would distract from the human story. the movie opens with a nice evocation of a battlefield, with Agamemnon's army about to face that of Thessaly. it is hard to conceive of the hand to hand clash of such armies. the battle of Cannae, Hannibal's greatest victory over Rome, saw an army of at least 50,000 Romans destroyed. some of those were made slaves but most were slaughtered slaughtered slaughtered. having a visual rendering of something like that, I mean a representation of two large armies meeting, is fascinating to me. whoever played Agamemnon was perfect. he is beefy and blustering and pompous as I imagine Agamemnon to have been. Brad Pitt as Achilles is good despite an overarching Brad Pittiness. you cannot forget that it is Pitt there, the guy married to the goddess Angelina (and not to that pale hamadryad Jennifer). Pitt is convincing vis-à-vis the physical prowess. early on he goes up against a steroid giant, whom he efficiently dispatches with a Michael Jordan sort of leaping feint. when Achilles and the Myrmidons hit the Normandy shore, Achilles is blurry ferocity. this ferocity brings to mind John Cleese's Lancelot in Holy Grail. the movie presents a lot of great shots of Troy and the battleground, a lot of presence. Eric Bana as Hector is terrific. he clearly hath not th'advantages of Achilles but proceeds nobly natheless. Orlando Bloom, despite all the great swordplay in Pirates and Rings, is stuck being a washout as Paris. it is a thankless role. there are plenty of changes in what we know of the Troy story, some of which seem gratuitous. Patroclus is the nephew of Achilles, brash due to youth rather than hubris, and Achilles can focus his attention on Briseis. the movie fizzles out after Hector dies, mainly because that love story is tired.
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