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November 01, 2010

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Jeff McMahon

I just wish the ending wasn't so garbled.

Tom Russell

@Jeff: What about the ending was "garbled"?

John M

Odd, but the thing I enjoyed least about the movie was its conceit. Seven ironic kung-fu fights does not a movie make. Wright worked very hard to inject intelligence into a dumb conceit. (And not without success--the still above, for example. The visual wit on display was rare, indeed.)

As usual, I had trouble with the "funny Jason Schwartzman" concept. When someone's funny, you laugh, right? Isn't that the normal reaction?

Jaime

@ John M: I don't know if your question is rhetorical or not, but while laughter is a normal reaction, it's not the only reaction. Tati is one of my favorite filmmakers and his films are full of ingenious gags, but I don't laugh much at the Hulot films. I smile a lot, get a little misty at certain points, but I never bust a gut. I don't need to - I am fully invested in what he's doing. Same thing with some Keatons. When I saw NEIGHBORS (my favorite of the shorts), I think I was mostly just trying not to scrape the floor with my chin.

Yeah, humor is subjective, and quite divisive as well. The man I sat next to at my SCOTT PILGRIM screening (packed house, full-on audience participation) barely moved a muscle except occasionally to grimace.

Dan Coyle

You know, I loved the movie, but I'm pretty sure I would have been unhappy with Ramona as a character if she wasn't played by MEW, who can just show up and I'll fall in love with her.

John M

Jaime, it was mostly rhetorical (and snarky TM), but I get your point. Schwartzman never really seems to be shooting for laughs, so maybe I shouldn't pile on him--I just find his presence never more than pleasantly mild. Which is a virtue, of course. Still, if sheer pleasure's the game, one longs for a Belmondo: Schwartzman often feels like he's playing grown-up. One of the reasons Bored to Death is such a...erm...bore.

I, as well, rarely laugh at Tati. Indeed watching PLAYTIME in shimmering 70mm (some of you might wanna loose the hounds here), his meticulous humor war-strategies made me laugh so little I grew bored, then aggravated. I tend to prefer earlier Tati--the world feels a bit more open-ended.

Jaime

Of course we have to release the hounds, but we'll give you a 30-second head start and some chew toys to confuse them.

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