Soukie's Place

keeping track of random thoughts

Archive for review

The Charms of a Pessimistic Workaholic

The top grossing film from Woody Allen ever, Midnight in Paris, is sweet and nice like a Belgian chocolate. It is like a dessert after some of the more substantial films of Allen’s career, even though – judged on its own – it is somewhat unsatisfactory.

That’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life is unsatisfying.

The movie is about human feelings – nostalgia, romance and disagreements – but more in the sense of the characters talking about rather than living through them. Contrasted with Allen’s lowest grossing film, September, where the characters also spend a lot of time talking about these issues, in Paris the protagonist and audience are somehow insulated from feeling the pain.

Continues » 

Gray Matter

After eleven years, there is a new adventure game by Jane Jensen who is best known for her Gabriel Knight Mystery series. Once again, the story is grounded in real locations and weaves facts with supernatural occurrences. The protagonists are obviously new – Sam, a street magician, and Dr Styles, a neurobiologist – and the chapters alternate between them just as we saw in Jensen’s two last full games.

A painting from Gray Matter

Sam is after an illusive Deadulus Club for magicians while Dr Styles goes to extremes to prevent his memories from ever fading

Continues » 

President Behind the Scenes

Václav Havel

Havel’s humanist values defined the social transformation of the post-communist Eastern block

A documentary spanning 15 years, 45 hours of film and 25 hours of video tapes offers an intimate look at the presidency of Václav Havel. It is unparalleled that a head of state would allow to be captured to this extent behind the scenes arriving at key political decisions with his staff. Continues » 

Recount

I did not follow the events of the 2000 presidential election in Florida the way I have the 2008 race, so I was happy that I could catch up on the subject while on the plane to Seattle with the movie Recount. Three weeks later, I watched it again.

The appeal is coming from the awareness of the inevitable.

The movie, written by Danny Strong and directed by Jay Roach, documents the legal struggle of Al Gore’s team, including the hand recounting of the ballots, all the way to the official result: George W. Bush winning the state by 527 votes, thus securing his first term. Continues »