I imagine in fourty years watching “Family Guy” will feel just like viewing The Knack… and how to get it. The physical and absurdist comedy is identical. The incongruous combination of conservative dress and risque subject matter is the same. And even the character of British accents on Family Guy (they “don’t so much speak English as chew on it”) is evocative of the strange enunciation and jargon of post-war British balinghou. The only difference is that, compared to The Knack, family guy is a cartoon and in color. And also funny.
Raise the Red Lantern
From filmmaker Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower) and actress Gong Li (2046, Hannibal Raising), comes this story of realpolitik among four wives of a prosperous man in northern Republican China. Centered around deception and zero-sum strategy. Raise the Red Lantern is a beautiful tragedy, as if House of Flying Daggers had all the kung-fu removed and diagogue about relationships thrown in. Recommended.
Twin Peaks Season 2(Disc 5 of 6)
Imagine if LOST reveals that the “island” is actually an uninhabited peninsula of Mindanao, in the Philippines. Further, imagine if (embarrassed by the whole “lost for months and months” things, the Filipino government grants the survivors rights to the peninsula, and they just had so much fun they stayed (minus Ben Linus, who is whisked away on multiple charges of kidnapping and never heard from again). Further, imagine that Jack Shepherd’s old nemesis from medical school, Megariath McEvilster III, sets up camp down on a nearby beach and causes all the predicable troubles. That’s about the story of Twin Peaks (Disc 5 of 6), four episodes in an increasingly derivative series that’s a mere shadow of what it once was.
Imagine a movie that dares not to be good. Imagine a movie that has much to say for it, intellectually, if one had infinite patience. Why has the Bodhi-Dharma left for the East? is just such a movie. A modern retelling of the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama, in the same way that Death of a Salesman is a retelling of Greek tragedies, Bodhi-Dharma is a tale of an master monk, a brother monk, and a young boy living in a hermitage somewhere in the mountains of South Korea. The chronology jumps back and forth, making an accurate retelling of the “story” difficult. Bodhi-Dharma is a profoundly Buddhist movie, and perhaps introduces the nothingness of Buddhism in the way that The Passion of the Christ retells the crisis of Christianity.
A thoroughly typical anime of the early 1990s, , Doomed Megalopolis (Disk 1) includes all the original suspects (Tokyo, evil spirits, ancient prophecies, etc). The artwork is mediocre, the soundtrack is mediocre, the story is mediocre. The heroine is ugly, so at least that aspects truly does stand out as sub-par. I’m writing this review as the episode is going off. I won’t be renting Disk 2.