Stream of Consciousness

May 17, 2006
A thought by James Berardinelli

Every once in a while, I get an e-mail from someone asking me to write a "real" blog entry rather than a themed commentary. I usually demur, feeling that such "journal entries" can be egotistical and boring. (Unless you're Anne Frank, who wants to read your diary?) There are times, however, when I throw out a bunch of odds-and-ends, and that's what today's selection amounts to. If you're not interested in this sort of minutae, hang on for the next entry, when I will write about George Lucas and double-dipping. (My opinion is probably going to surprise a few people.)

First and foremost, it's time for an update on "Video Views," which is still on track to debut in early June. I had previously written June 1, but that's a Thursday. Regular "Video Views" weekly updates will be on a Saturday or Sunday, so that's when the first edition will appear - June 3 or 4. Video Views is one page only. For the most part, it will replicate the look of the "New/Current Movies" page of ReelViews, but for DVD releases. There will also be a section for new reviews of older movies. This year, I'm going to do a Video A-to-Z. That means I'll review one movie that starts with each letter of the alphabet, although not necessarily in order. One a week for 26 weeks. No letters excluded, so there will be a title that starts with a Q and an X. The first movie will either be a D or a B, because I have those titles selected.

The Price of Terror is currently stalled. It will be finished, but I can't promise when. It's not high enough on my priorities list for me to spend a lot of time on it. Casual fiction writing comes in behind all movie-related writing and yardwork. And there really aren't any breaks from either. Maybe in about a year when I move - then I'll be able to recover about three hour's time each week associated with shorter commutes to screenings. Three hours is about how long it takes to write half a chapter.

I haven't gotten as many negative e-mails as I expected from conspiracy theorists, which leads me to believe that most of my readers are sane. I didn't mean to imply there aren't unanswered questions about what happened on 9/11, becaise there are holes that have not been plugged, but I accept the basic official explanation. I don't think George W. Bush is a good president, but I don't view him as an evil man, and if he had been involved in 9/11 in the way some people are claiming, "evil" is the only word I can think of to describe him. I don't buy it.

The television season is winding down. 24 seems to be concluding with a whimper. And why is it that there was more fanfare for the deaths of Edgar and Samwise than for five-season veteran Tony? I don't mind the shock value of taking him out the way they did, but didn't the guy deserve better than to be forgotten about 15 minutes later? How things change. It was just last season when Tony's surprise arrival to save Jack was a big moment. Now he is forgotten.

No late Thursday night showing of The Da Vinci Code, so I'll have to go at 10:30 am Friday. I will keep my fingers crossed that the theater isn't packed. I was blessed with good fortune last Friday. I went to see Just My Luck and was the only one in the 200-seat auditorium. That's the way to watch a movie - unless something's wrong with the picture or sound (then you can't rely on someone else to report the problem).

It astounds me how little buzz there is about this summer's films. The only movies I hear anyone mentioning are Pirates 2, Superman Returns, and Snakes on a Plane. X-Men fans are bracing for the worst, wondering how badly Brett Ratner can screw up the franchise. (I'm not a doomsayer. I see no reason that Ratner can't turn in a perfectly acceptable piece of superhero popcorn.) And the only thing people are talking about with respect to Miami Vice are Gong Li's nude scenes and her inability to utter an intelligible word in English.

I don't see many trailers, but the one for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette made me cringe. This has me hoping that this is one of those movies that can't generate a decent preview. If that's not the case, then one of my Toronto movie slots will lead to disappointment. I'm also eagerly awaiting Kenneth Branagh's return to Shakespeare, although this time he's only behind the camera, not in front of it.

Now on to the burning question: Does it matter if Greedo shoots first, last, or at the same time?