Yesterday, amidst some genuinely shitty weather – a blue-black sky spitting rain that might as well have been sleet on a cold wind to flay skin from bone – we saw an early mantiée of Tom Hooper's adaptation of Les Misérables. Here is an unconditionally brilliant film. I cannot ever imagine anyone ever doing a better job. Both Jackman and Crowe are stunning, and I don't believe that Valjean and Javert have ever felt so real to me. Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Fantine is almost too disarming, too brutal to watch. No, really. Again, brilliant. Samantha Barks' performance as Éponine is one of the film's unexpected gems. I do have to confess, though, that I've always found Cosette to be an insufferably useless woman and have also rooted for an alternate ending where Éponine survives (though her death, and the death of Gavroche are, of course, pivots upon which turn our sympathies with the revolutionaries of the June Rebellion). It goes without saying that the team of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter do weird and wonderful things with the roles of Thénardier and Madame Thénardier. As for the score, art direction, costume design, and the cinematography, I lack the language to do them justice.
We saw a trailer for Sam Raimi's forthcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful, and fuck all if it doesn't look hideous. That one I will be sitting out, even if it is offered in 2D. However, Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion looks like one of those very good films that proves Tom Cruise makes a fine actor, no matter what a lousy person he might be (and it's NOT a 3D film).
Also, this from a recent BBC article on the subject of the effect of 3D on film:
3D is antithetical to storytelling, where immersion in character is the goal. It constantly reminds you you're watching a screen - and it completely prevents emotional involvement. Natural human vision bears no resemblance to 3D in the cinema. 2D doesn't reveal the smoke and mirrors of filmmaking in the same way. ~ Oliver Stapelton, cinematographer (The Cider House Rules and The Proposal)
I'll likely work today, probably on Black Helicopters. I don't feel well, and we're going to postpone our planned visit to Narragansett and Moonstone Beach. A few days or so. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better tomorrow. I can only keep up this vacation thing just so long before someone notices and orders me back into the sweatshop of words, copyediting, and deadlines.
Last night, we saw the most recent episode of Fringe. Television rarely almost brings me to tears. I was taken off guard by my reaction to Nina's death, by Walter's reaction to Nina's death. It's hard to believe there are only three episodes remaining. Also, we've sort of drifted back into Rift. The expansion is quiet good so far. The Secret World is losing some of its shininess. The game's flaws are harder to overlook when it cannot be used for that one thing for which it is most suited, roleplay.
Fuck the Bozos,