Monday, April 24, 2006

Weekend views No.7

What do you do on a Sunday evening when you're feeling a bit poorly and you need some comfort? Why, watch one of the most enduring classics of all time, of course. Which is why I lay on the sofa and basked in the hammy glory that is Jason And The Argonauts. Ray Harryhausen's clunky pre-CGI creations are as compelling as ever, and beaten in their stiffness only by leading man Todd Armstrong. A man whose acting skills are only slightly better than his woeful sword fighting technique (how DID he beat that Hydra again?). But perfect comfort viewing: shot in that garish colour that gave the whole thing a rather disturbing edge of ancient greek gay porn, sporting a stupendous Bernard Hermann score and with some cracking turns by both Honor Blackman as Hera and the mighty Patrick Troughton as the blind Phineas (no, not the curly headed Freak brother), beset by green harpies who steal his dinner. Don't you just hate it when that happens?
Then I watched Solaris (Soderbergh's, not Tarkovsky's) for the three hundredth time. In my weakened state it became even more of a beautiful tone poem in loss and lovely glowing colours. I was initially put off by Natascha McElhone as Rheya, but now realise she's bloody great (as is Clooney)! Goddam it, I'm gonna say's better than Tarkovsky! I'm SO controversial...

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