August 6th, 2010

breaking bad

Job for life

I liked Toy Story 3 a lot, but I disagree with the common opinion that the feeling of redundancy the toys experience when their owners outgrow them is a metaphor for the feelings of a parent when their children leave home. Adam Roberts for example makes this comment today.

I think all of the reviewers who have expressed this opinion are fathers of young children. Speaking as a mother of adult children my feelings are the exact opposite. The toys are burdened by immortality. A parent is only too aware that they are mortal.

Perhaps parents of young children, being themselves young, feel an illusory immortality. Also they imagine that their current work is all they will need to do, and when it is no longer needed their job will be done. But - believe me - twenty years from now, you won't feel your job is done.
breaking bad

Hell in the Pacific

I enjoyed Point Blank so much that I have been looking into the friendship between Lee Marvin and John Boorman. The year after Point Blank they made Hell in the Pacific together, so I watched that.

It's only got two actors - Lee Marvin, and Toshiro Mifune. It's about two soldiers during World War II, fighting each other on a desert island, and eventually finding common ground. Marvin and Mifune were in fact both soldiers in WWII, on opposite sides. It was remade as an SF novella and film called Enemy Mine.

It's a sparse, arty, film, with a lot of theatrical staring and glowering. A lot of close-ups of eyes, like in Spaghetti Westerns. There isn't much dialogue, and Mifune speaks Japanese throughout with no subtitles. The atmosphere reminded me of The Thin Red Line. I personally liked it, but I can understand it would irritate a lot of viewers. There are apparently two versions, and I think the version I saw must be the theatrical release, which has a stupidly abrupt ending; the director's cut may have a better resolution.

The acting of course, from two utter giants, is very good: Boorman gets marvellous performances from them. It's strange to turn from something like this to the sort of hammed-up nonsense Lee Marvin was expected to deliver in The Dirty Dozen and films like that.