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November 20, 2012


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I read this part:

"What then transpires is how Pi learns to share his space with the tiger, who has a human name (longish story), and how they forge a tacit (the tiger can't talk or anything) bond (or so Pi comes to believe) in order to make it to land and safety and something other than canned food or hard-caught fish. Aside from hair-raising face-offs between the tiger and the emotionally upended Pi (who lost his whole family in the shipwreck, so it's understandable), there are a lot of scenes in which the characters' surroundings are imbued with a terrible sumptuousness, visual evocations of the scarily awe-inspiring vastness of life and space."

and I immediately flashed on something like Carroll Ballard's adaptation of THE BLACK STALLION, which I like a lot (in possible tone and spirit, I mean, although it obviously is using a different visual palette). Thanks for the great review-- this actually makes me a lot more curious to see the film than the rather tacky ads had.




A shameless shout-out (and thank-you) to my friend Joe Strike, sometime animation journalist, who invited me to a celeb-stuffed preview screening of 'Rise of the Guardians', which deserves a much less generic title, one more awe-inspiring than (ahem) owl-inspiring.

David Ehrenstein

I LOVE Kitties -- and smokin' hot Indian boys. So what's not to like?

Actually it's a children's film, and as such not bad. The 3-D is lovely.


Very intrigued by this film. Other reviews I've read were less dismissive of the spiritual angle. I suspect that has something to do with the sympathy the reviewer brings to the table. I appreciate that Glenn dealt with this in a disclamatory (is that a word?) manner.

Brian Dauth

"I understand that second-guessing the artist is poor critical practice. But that fact remains that this convention, which was always pretty patronizing to begin with, has ossified into cliché, and the movie suffers for it."

Glenn: you are not second-guessing the artist. You are placing a formal device he employed in its historical context and then giving your response to its use. That is good critical practice that far too few critics practice (or even comprehend). At least you got the memorandum that Romanticism and High Modernism are dead and that art objects exist and engagement with them occurs along historical/social/cultural continuums. No apologies necessary.

Clayton Sutherland

Just saw this last night.

I totally agree with you, Glenn, re: how they handled the "alternate" version of the story. I actually started zoning out during that bit; they should've handled it in visual montage or something, because conveying it through dialogue rendered it rather impersonal/ineffectual.

The film was also less visually impressive than the ads suggested (I guess they showed most of the "money shots" in the last trailer). The compositions were fine, but the colours didn't pop the way I expected them to. And, for the most part, aside from a few lunges from Kittie at the camera, I stopped noticing the 3D effect after the first act. I tilted the glasses down to see that there was a blur effect happening, but when I put them back on it just didn't register in any meaningful way; the images weren't layered enough. I find this to be the case with most 3D films; the last one that really clicked with me in that regard was "Hugo". That many theaters don't offer a 2D option pisses me off to no end, because I'm tired of paying the premium, even on Cheap Tuesdays.

Anyways, perhaps the book is different, but I found the film to be a rather facile meditation on religious belief. Kittie was very well rendered, though...I'll give it that.

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