Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Month: January 2012

Films for 2012

A whole load of films and a whole load of trailers, so just a few words on each. Any major omissions? I’m sure you’ll let me know. Bear in mind I’ve ignored anything due out this year but with no footage yet released.

The Artist — A modern silent film? No one does that. Except the French, obviously. And the Weinsteins prove their worth once more by agreeing to fund it.

Shame — A study in sex addiction, it’s Fassbender as the lead that heightens my interest, with Carey Mulligan as his sister, arriving to disrupt his life. The slow, weighty trailer suggests this will appeal only to a niche audience.

Coriolanus — Ralph Fiennes takes the directorial reins for the first time, setting Shakespearean dialogue against a gritty modern fascist backdrop.

J Edgar — While Clint Eastwood’s undoubtedly proficient directorial efforts have largely failed to connect with me (Mystic River aside), seeing him direct DiCaprio is enough to whet my appetite.

The Descendants — While Clooney’s The Ides of March was great, it is his performance here, struggling to reconnect with his daughters in the middle of a family crisis, that has generated more Oscar buzz.

A Dangerous Method — Exploring the relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, again it is Fassbender’s presence that piques my interest.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close — The strange tale of a boy searching New York for the lock that matches a key left behind by his father who died in the 9/11 attack makes a little more sense knowing the novel was penned by the same author as Everything Is Illuminated.

The Muppets — This isn’t for the kids, it’s for the big kids who grew up with The Muppets. Rewatching old episodes of The Muppets Tonight while ill reminded me that this stuff could still air just fine today. And it’s had one of the most fun advertising campaigns in recent memory.

In The Land of Blood & Honey — Reviews have been decidedly mixed for Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, a love story set against the brutal background of the Bosnian War.

Mirror, Mirror — Tarsem Singh tackling my favourite classic fairytale (Snow White, obviously) promises to be a visual treat, but the trailer sparks pretty serious fears this “comedy” adaptation could be a farcical mess.

The Hunger Games — I understand these young adult novels are a pretty big deal in the USA, a grim future in which a post-apocalyptic government requires each district to submit two teenage children for a fight to the death in the wild. A neutered, teen-friendly Battle Royale, then?

The Avengers — While I don’t think the films leading up to this insanely ambitious superhero-filled Marvel event lived up to the first Iron Man, I remain excited (and amazed) that Joss Whedon has been handed the reins.

Men in Black III — From a single line, Josh Brolin seems to have Tommy Lee Jones’ mannerism down, but the real time-traveling marvel is that he and Will Smith don’t seem to have aged at all.

The Dictator — This scripted Sacha Baron Cohen outing has him playing a fictional Middle Eastern dictator ensuring “democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.”

Prometheus — Ridley Scott’s no-longer-really-a-prequel-to-Alien captivates as soon as those letters start to appear on screen. For those who wish to deconstruct the trailer, Movie Line freeze-frames so you don’t have to.

The Amazing Spider-Man — Yes, everyone’s favourite web-slinger is being rebooted already, but with Andrew Garfield taking centre stage I’m more than willing to give Spidey another go. Even after the abomination of Spider-Man 3.

The Dark Knight Rises — Nolan. Batman. Do I really need to sell this? To anyone?

Premium Rush — This action thriller about a bike messenger has me interested largely because of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s brilliant eye for scripts.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — It looks more of the same from Peter Jackson, even if virtually everyone agrees the source material is weaker. I remain disappointed that Guillermo del Toro isn’t helming the project, as it would be great to see an alternate view of Middle Earth a decade later, but this is the next best option. Martin Freeman is, of course, the perfect choice for Bilbo.

Nominal Holiday

I can never quite decide whether taking the three days off between Christmas and New Year really counts as a holiday. The resulting ten-day break is most welcome, naturally, but those who “work” in between (in office jobs, at any rate) impart wondrous tales of blessedly empty offices and extravagant two-hour lunches. On balance it is the futile attempt at catching up on a year’s worth of missed sleep that convinces me to take the time off.

It is a fair sign I have been working slightly too hard that, immediately upon stopping, I fell ill. An uncommon enough occurrence itself, this was some (chaotic) evil stomach bug that took about three days to kick, conveniently running right through Christmas. Between this and last year, I am considering blacklisting the holiday entirely. It is on notice.

Strangely what kept me going was a Skyrim fan’s efforts in porting all the short books contained within the game to ebook format. Loaded onto my tablet, I lay in bed reading the history, mythology and cautionary fables of an entirely fictional world to keep my mind occupied. The personal tale woven by the anonymously penned The Real Barenziah was a particular favourite, standing in sharp contrast to the official line in the Imperial approved Biography of Barenziah. And that is the perfect illustration of what makes the these games so special: that incredible level of detail in which the world is crafted. In each new Elder Scrolls game Bethesda will reproduce the books from previous entries while adding a host of new titles, now totalling some 13,500 pages of text that many (most?) players will never actually read.

Once recovered, I spent a pleasant few days catching up with friends in London and finally delving properly into Skyrim in the way I had expected a month ago (i.e. almost continuously). I saw in the New Year a few roads away at Adam’s new house, with a quick jaunt to Waterloo to watch the fantastic South Bank fireworks. There then followed the traditional struggle to return my sleeping habits to the socially accepted norm before returning to work. With moderate success.

"Luck is the residue of design."

(CC) BY-NC 2004-2021 Priyan Meewella

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