May 24, 2002

Insomnia

Al Pacino, a wasted shell of a policeman, under investigation by Internal Affairs, heads north to hunt a killer (Robin Williams). Pacino's insomnia in the land of the midnight sun is a metaphor for his crumbling psyche as he accidentally shoots and kills his partner (Martin Donovan). The problem is, he has a motive for wanting his partner dead, so he must cover up the shooting because no one will believe it was an accident. When the killer learns about Pacino's past, suddenly the balance of power between then shifts.
One gaping plot hole- Pacino's character visits an Alaskan town so far north, the sun never sets in the summertime. So why don't the hotel rooms come with "blackout" curtains, like, for example, Las Vegas hotels? (Showcase Cinemas Randolph)

Also By Chris Nolan on Stub Hubby


May 18, 2002

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Bad dialog and stiff acting. It makes me sad to think Lucas has only one more chance to make a good prequel. (Showcase Cinemas Randolph: May 18, 2002 [celluloid] and May 23, 2002 [Digital Projection])
2017 Update:
I've been listening to the Star Wars Minute podcast, where three or four fellow Star Wars nerds dissect and criticize the Star Wars movies one minute at a time. I've listened to them talk about Episodes 4, 5, and 6 for months now, and they've opened my eyes to what's great about the movies, and the bad parts that I hadn't appreciated before:
George Lucas made three movies set in the middle of a epic history of a distant galaxy. These three movies sketch out some broad strokes and some specific details of what came before: the fall of a republic, the defeat of an order of knights, the family trees of the principal characters. He does a terrific job of setting the current events in a larger historical landscape without going into too much detail.
Lucas was famously controlling over his intellectual property: after that trilogy of movies was completed, he allowed no more movies to be produced despite terrific demand. We all reasonably expected to never see another story set in this world again.
Fifteen years later, Lucas decided to make three more movies, telling the story of the previous generation.
Lucas famously outlined these stories decades before. Legend has it Lucas had imagined all these characters' stories in complete detail. We all expected that the brief mentions of the history of this galaxy were glimpses of the story Lucas had outlined in the 1970s.
This myth was so calcified in the pop culture zeitgeist, it's difficult to integrate how poorly these "prequels" reconcile with what we already knew about the history of these characters.
The prequels fit so poorly with what we expected, you'd almost assume Lucas had nothing to do with their creation, instead of everything.
There's plenty of more important reasons to dislike the prequels, especially for us Generation Xers who loved Episodes 4, 5, and 6 first, but its especially odd that Lucas' prequels tell such a different history from what we had expected. It's bizarre that so many of the statements of fact made in Episodes 4, 5, and 6 are proven in the prequels to be only technically true, or only true by the largest leaps of logic.

Also On Memorial Day, Through The Years

I have been to the movies on Memorial Day Monday 13 times in 24 years, but it's not a great track record. 

May 6, 2002

Spider-Man

spiderVery well done. Nothing wrong with this movie, but it did not engage me the way the Burton Batman movies did, for example. Part of the problem: I never believed I was seeing Tobey Maguire when he would fly through the air. It always looked like a stuntman, or a CGI effect. (Showcase Cinemas Randolph)