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Non-Review Review: Watchmen (Theatrical Cut)

Probably the best we could have hoped for. Which is a guarded compliment at best. The movie has several gaping flaws, both as an adaptation of Alan Moore’s seminal work and also as a film in its own right. And yet it contains more interesting ideas than most prestige dramas, and at least two standout performances. The film is widely inconsistent, sometimes feeling too long in its gratuitous acton or sex scenes, but too short on the actual big ideas that make it thought-provoking. Ultimately, what ties the film down is also what props it up, in a manner: the fact that it is based on one of the most important books of the last quarter century.

Just the three of us...

Just the three of us...

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The Palmers: A Reflection of the Kennedys?

Senator Ted Kennedy passed away last week amid a media frenzy. What interested me most about the Senator’s passing was the revelation of how he spent his final days: watching Bond movies and the entire run of 24. There are worse entertainments to be found, to be sure. I wonder if he watched that hallmark American television show enthralled by the actions of Jack Bauer, or if he saw something more hidden away? He wouldn’t be the first to find parallels between the show’s African-American Presidential family and the illustrious Kennedy dynasty. Did he see a reflection of what might have been, in another life?

I like the flag. Patriotic touch.

I like the flag. Patriotic touch.

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The Love of Richard Nixon…

I’m not American, but I feel a strange fascination with Richard Milhouse Nixon. He’s a figure of almost Shakespearean complexity, driven to phenomenal heights and fantastic accomplishments, but never able to do enough to placate the insecurity gnawing at him. I had the pleasure of reading Conrad Black’s rather even-handed summary of his life and career last summer, and he seems as much a mystery as ever. The recent news item about another of his paranoid ramblings has grabbed media attention, but I’m amazed that there doesn’t seem to be much debate over the true impact of Nixon’s Presidency beyond the obvious shadow cast by Watergate. What is the American fascination with painting Nixon as a villain or a fiend? Why can he not embody something just a tad more complex?

Richard Nixon unsuccessfully attempts to distract from the Watergate scandal by declaring "It's behind you!" during a Press Conference...

Richard Nixon unsuccessfully attempts to distract from the Watergate scandal by declaring "It's behind you!" during a Press Conference...

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Non-Review Review: Frost/Nixon

When I saw Frost/Nixon in the cinema, I came out thinking it was the second best film of last year. How does my opinion hold up?

For a guy who isn't a crook, he sure has his "caught in the act" pose well-rehearsed

For a guy who isn't a crook, he sure has his "caught in the act" pose well-rehearsed

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Who Am I to Argue with History?

What do Hollywood film makers owe to history? I’ve had this question on my mind because I’ve been seeing quite a few historical films lately – The Reader, Chaplin, and Frost/Nixon will hopefully be arriving in my mailbox today – and I just wondered how faithful it was reasonable to expect a Hollywood film to be to real life events.

Contrary to popular belief, the missing 18 minutes from the Watergate tapes do not feature Richard Nixon practicing jazz hands...

Contrary to popular belief, the missing 18 minutes from the Watergate tapes do not feature Richard Nixon practicing jazz hands...

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