The Three Days of the Condor Bluray arrives Monday morning, two or three hours before I leave for Kennedy airport. Just barely time to pop it in and watch most of it. It’s probably not going to be visually stunning, but it’ll certainly look “better” than anything that’s come before. I love David Rayfiel‘s dialogue, and I’m telling myself, however illogically, that the sharper visuals will somehow make it sound a tad better. The speakers are Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max Von Sydow, Cliff Robertson and John Houseman.
Kathy: You…you have a lot of very fine qualities.
Joe Turner: What fine qualities?
Kathy: You have good eyes. Not kind, but they don’t lie, and they don’t look away much, and they don’t miss anything. I could use eyes like that.
Joe Turner: But you’re overdue in Vermont. Is he a tough guy?
Kathy: He’s pretty tough.
Joe Turner: What will he do?
Kathy: Understand, probably.
Joe Turner: Boy. That is tough.
Higgins: Do you miss that kind of action, sir? [referring to joining and working for the CIA during World War II]
Mr. Wabash: No, I miss that kind of clarity.
“Kehr, Dave. Third- or possibly even fourth-string New York Times movie critic. Though often relegated to reviewing DVD releases, he is preferred by Snobs over A. O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden.” — 2005 passage from The Film Snob’s Dictionary. Does Kehr still enjoy said status?
I’ve assembled my four favorite passages from Anthony Lane‘s 5.18 New Yorker review. He follows Variety‘s Todd McCarthy and myself by taking note of James Tiberius Kirk’s mood hair (i.e., veering from dirty blond to blondish red). It’s not a pan, and I wouldn’t agree if it were. But it’s great succulent stuff — the best Lane reviews always are.
Excerpt #1: “This new Star Trek is nonsense, no question (‘Prepare the red matter!’), but at least it’s not boggy nonsense, the way most of the other movies were, and it powers along, unheeding of its own absurdity, with a drive and a confidence that the producers of the original TV series might have smiled upon.”
Excerpt #2: Kirk “is played here by Chris Pine, who struggles with a screenplay, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, that could have been downloaded from a software program entitled ‘Make Your Own Annoying Rebel.’ I thoroughly approved of his bedding an extraterrestrial female with green skin, eco-sex being all the rage two centuries from now, but that is the only downtime afforded by the recklessly rolling plot, although Jim still manages to defy the continuity team and switch hair color from dirty blond to redhead and back again. Don’t worry, he’s still a natural dickhead underneath.”
Excerpt #3: JJ Abrams’s “fondness for the retro is crucial to his non-stop knowingness, with its hints of both hipster and nerd. He gorges on cinema as if it were one of those all-you-can-eat buffets, piling his plate with succulent effects, whether they go together or not. Hence the red ravening beast that pops up on a random planet, clearly left over from the props cupboard of Cloverfield; the man-to-Romulan fistfight borrowed from M:i:3; and, I regret to say, a dose of parallel universe.”
Excerpt #4: “This theme of alternative reality is clumsily worked, and not a patch on its tighter, more alluring, and thus much scarier treatment in Coraline. Its effect here is to saddle us with two Mr. Spocks, one from the vulnerable present and one from the comforting future, and its main purpose, I suspect, is to drag in Leonard Nimoy, who these days makes Bela Lugosi look like Zac Efron, and thus insure that all the Star Trek scholars in the audience will have to hurry home and change their underwear.”
I’m presuming, naturally, that several HE regulars were among last night’s Star Trek viewers, and that given the 96% positive Rotten Tomatoes rating some are focusing on aspects of the film they weren’t entirely satisfied with. Because it’s more fun to be contrarian. Not to dump on the film (which I liked), but that’s where the percolation is right now.
You might want to read Anthony Lane‘s New Yorker review as a starting-off thing. Ignore it, debate it or join the praisers but please add something specific. Comments that just say “I liked it” or “it sucked” will be immediately deleted.
It took in $26 million yesterday for a cume of $33 million if you count Thursday night, which of course you must. Steve Mason says it could hit $75 to $77 million by Sunday night and bank over $200 million by the end of the run.
Here’s a public shout-out for Santa Barbara Film festival chief Roger Durling and all his regional friends and colleagues, hoping that they’re not feeling too freaked out and that their homes are still standing as they stare at those massive Armageddon fire clouds caused by the Jesusita inferno, which has been raging for four days now. Sea valiente, sea fuerte y confianza en dios.
“Fire officials have more than doubled their estimate of how many acres have burned in the Jesusita wildfire [that’s been] raging along mountain slopes above Santa Barbara,” says an AP story that was filed around midnight.
“The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says new aircraft tracking shows the fire has burned 8,600 acres. Earlier on Friday, officials estimated the 4-day-old blaze had burned 3,500 acres. Fire spokesman Dennis Mathisen says the [previous] smaller estimate was based on firefighters surveying the blaze at night from the ground. The new acreage count was taken by aircraft during the day.”
Here are some relatively recent reports from the Santa Barbara News Press.
Some 13,500 people have either evacuated or been asked to evacuate so far. Some 5400 homes have been “engulfed,” according to a CNN summary. (I don’t think “engulfed” means burned to the ground.) The wind-driven inferno has been described as “uncontrolled.” Well, obviously.
New Yorker photograph by Charles Minsky
“I had thoughts of Pompeii just now, looking at an abandoned car dealer’s lot, as ash poured down. Everything was deserted, except for people fleeing towards the freeway. Ash pouring, pouring down, hurting the eyes.
“We just snuck back into the evac zones to get more stuff from Tonya’s place. We were safe the whole time, but fire is right over the hill — ALL over the ridge — and this stretch of the city where Tonya lives, where we have sushi and coffee sometimes, is blocked off by cop cars and barriers, utterly black, thousands of homes empty and evacuated. A sky so totally black and ash-covered that you’d think there’s a volcano blowing up. It’s still about 100 degrees here and we’re breathing people’s cars and houses right now.”