I was tempted to write about music this week because the albums from this year were so important to me. But then I thought again about the books from 2004 and I wondered if I will ever have a year with at least three books that really mean a lot to me and that have something to say that fits here. So, welcome to the 2004 Book Report!Read More
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is awkward, but not in the way it wants to be. It wants to be Tim Burton-awkward, with strange characters in a weird world full of unusual locations, visual effects and props. And it has all of those ingredients, but its tone is what is really strange about it. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but I personally didn’t think it was very funny. Jim Carrey is so over-the-top and so much of the movie focuses on him that it’s almost distracting, like a one-man-show. I can’t really put my finger on it, but the movie didn’t work for me. I’m not even sure what its intended audience is as many jokes are not for kids but overall the movie isn’t all that appealing to adults either.Read More
You’re probably saying: “I know what’s coming now. Posters in 2004 were sexist, just like in 2012, 2015, 1988, 1980, 1973 and 1940, always the same.” Well, yes, that’s true but I wanted to try something slightly different this time. Slightly, because instead of focusing on sexism in general, I want to focus on one particular way of posters being sexist: by naming all of the actors on the posters except some female ones. Strangely, I found a lot of examples from 2004 posters for this, so here we go.Read More
Man on Fire is a standard vigilante/revenge movie wrapped up in a redemption story coupled with a little girl likes killer story. Because it’s a Tony Scott film, all of it is mixed with nervous editing, shaky camera, color filters and a best of music cues from this and other movies (seriously, if you know film music, it’s really weird to see a big studio movie that simply uses music from other movies). It has a great and large cast and some interesting individual scenes, but overall it’s a bit of a mess. It seems unfair to say that because so much of it is simply Scott’s late-year style, but it works more for some movies than for others (Domino, for example, was slightly better). My main issue (besides the revenge aspect I’ll discuss in a second), is that the film is so off structurally. It’s too long and divided into two uneven halves. If you like these kinds of movies, it’s certainly okay, but the imbalance in tone and story really bothered me.Read More
Saw is a movie that started another horror franchise that, in the spirit of these things, simply repeated the most basic concept over and over again. Looking at the original movie, you can only barely see the appeal of continuing it, which mostly comes from the fact that not much is explained in the end and that there is one central element that producers thought was worth repeating, which, again, as in other franchises, is mostly creative ways of killing victims. That’s what drove other series, like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Final Destination or Friday the 13th. The movie itself is nothing really special, it’s not well-made, its plot and structure is a mess and the acting is serviceable at best. Its central story, two guys trapped in a room, trying to find out what’s going on, is effective, but once the flashbacks starts and the connections are overflowing the movie loses a lot of momentum. There are some nice moments, but overall I wasn’t really interested in watching more of these movies, let alone six more of them.
It’s 2004 week! Since the last theme week we’re moving 64 years into the future (past) and it also feels that long ago since we actually had 1940 week. It’s been far too long but somehow I never found enough time to prepare a week full of seven posts. But now it’s here! I was 24 in 2004 and still at university. It was three years after 9/11 but apart from that I’m not really sure what to expect. The 2000s are still so hard to grasp for me, still too close but full of personal history that I’m probably also still digesting. But I look forward to this week because unlike 1940 this week will find some resonance among my readers (or I just have to remember to write a lot about spanking…). Ready, steady, 2004!Read More