Thursday, July 28, 2005


Tuesday I called in sick because I had another job interview. (Yes, it's a disease. Hopefully I'll be cured soon!) Naturally, because I had to put on a suit and a pair of pantyhose and real shoes (not flip-flops), the heat came roaring back, promising to hit 95 degrees. Is this what they mean by "trial by fire"?

I survived - but decided to spend the afternoon in an icy cold movie theater. It was a hooky day, why not? And what better than a film whose very name reeks of winter? November is a thriller starring Courteney Cox and James LeGros, an independent film that was apparently shot in only 15 days. If you see the trailer, (and you can on the film's official website - just don't bother clicking on "Enter the Site" because you'll just get an endless loop of flashes of images from the film), you think it's a fairly straightforward mystery: there's a murder, a cop, some frightening evidence, suspicion. But that's misleading. It's not even a psychological thriller, which I'd expected. I can't even explain what it is, except that I was disappointed. I read a review that called it "too arty for its own good" which I think is right on. It's like a film school exercise in creating a psychological thriller - the i's are crossed and the t's dotted (yes, it wants to be that subversive) - but there's no sense of closure or surprise or anything at the end, despite the dramatic reveal in the final scenes that is supposed to explain everything that you just saw. There's just no connection. Why, if that is the final truth, did the previous scenes happen as they did?

Contrast this to a film like "Memento" or almost any M. Night Shyamalan film, where once you find out the "twist," you want to go back and watch again to see how it fit. And if you do, it's pretty apparent how it did - my god, why didn't I ever notice that Bruce Willis's wife doesn't actually ever look at him or speak to him during their dinner scene? The film has its own internal logic and it follows it carefully, even when the audience doesn't know why it's doing what it's doing until later. And that's why it works. If "November" has that kind of logic, that kind of cohesive suspension of disbelief, I just didn't get it. Going by the post-movie chatter in the ladies' room (and the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes), not many other people have, either.

The Sopranos trailers are back. I didn't realize they'd leave at night and return. I guess they have to refuel/get cleaned/etc., and that's probably easier to do wherever they are rented from.


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