Assorted Reviews. Literally.
This one’s a quick review tally as the week’s a bit packed and leaves little time for editorial blather.
Uploaded this past Monday are review tied to a pair of successful franchises. Guy Ritchie’s handling of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [M] (Warner Home Video) is even better than the first outing, and with the fate of one main character left grey in the film’s first half, you can bet she’ll be back in a third installment. Hopefully the script, the wit, and pacing will be up to par.
Next is a review of Elliot Goldenthal’s Batman Forever [M] (La-La Land Records) which, yes, actually merited a 2-disc release. Even when confronted with the stylistic excess of director Joel Schumacher, Goldenthal found a perfect balance of spoof, sincerity, and fun, and the new CD doubles the score’s length, revealing a great comic book score that not only deserves its due, but perhaps a reassessment of Schumacher’s take on the caped crusader as brilliant social satire. Yes, I made that last part up, but I wonder if 10 years from now the spalshy neon monstrosities that are Batman Forver + Batman & Robin will be regarded as underrated satire. Scary possibility, isn’t it?
Next up is a review of New Zealand director Tusi Tamasese’s quiet but affecting drama The Orator / O le tulafale [M] (2011), which is part of the series First Peoples Cinema: 1500 Nations, One Tradition at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The film just ended its last appearance this past weekend, and the series itself comes to a close Sunday August 19, but it’s worth hunting down the film for its direction and strong performances.
Seems TIFF’s website’s has been slightly tweaked, with the monstrous top menus no longer obliterating most of the page content (good move), and the current series teaser boxes have boinky teaser text & “Learn More” links (a so-so modification). It’s getting there… Still a challenging site… but it’s getting there.
Coming shortly: some soundtrack reviews, more naughty pink, and Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s Hisss, which may be worse than Boxing Helena (1993) because it’s a “pasta cluster-fuck.”
Which it actually is….