Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekend Report

The Parents were in town this weekend which gave me an opportunity to do some of the LA things that tourists usually do.  After four years here, I still hadn't been to the Getty Museum (which I pass daily driving to tutor).  We cooked for them one night and went out the others.  Their experience was a bit desultory I think--the freeways were even more clogged than usual and their hotel proved to be a major disappointment.  But it was nice that they came.  Exhausting, but nice.

I saw two new movies last week.  One was In The Loop.  A dark comedy about the political machinations that lead up to the US/UK declaration of war on Iraq, In The Loop is the only movie I can ever remember Netflix recommending to me with four stars (when they do the thing about "What YOUR Rating Will Be.")  I had high expectations, therefore, and I have to say they weren't really met.  Every character in the movie is deceitful or cowardly or manipulative or...base.  It's supposed to be funny, but I found its cynicism so excessive that I couldn't care about the comedy.  A fantastic cast with great performances (James Gandolfini as a coarse US General was particularly good) but the movie itself did not equal the sum of its parts.

My other recent viewing featured a corp of Scottish Bagpipers and Alec Guinness.  Therefore, you would assume that it had to be great.  And, indeed, Tunes of Glory did not disappoint.  Well, okay, it disappointed a little (the ending maybe didn't work perfectly).  But mostly, Tunes Of Glory gets an unequivocal "Yes" from the ANCIANT reviewing team.  Guinness is the movie's center, of course; he plays a rough and ready, hard drinking Scottish soldier who's been assigned the command of a military outpost in the Scottish highlands.  The plot involves his growing conflicts with a by-the-book commanding officer who's brought in to replace him, but the plot is less the draw than the performances.  Also, the bagpipes.  There are a LOT of bagpipes.  Plus, a lot of people drinking Scotch and using words like "lassie" non ironically.  It's a good time.


JMW said...

I thought In the Loop was hilarious. Will have to check out the other one -- I'm a big Alec Guinness fan.

ANCIANT said...

I remember you recommending "In The Loop" a long while back. I think maybe I expected too much? Not sure. I revolted too strongly against its world view.