Odds and Ends

All right, I have finally owned up to the fact that I’m never going to get around to writing full reviews of “Never Let Me Go,” “Red,” “Due Date,” or my latest foray into the Must-See 500, “The Great Dictator.” But I realize that I can’t leave you, dear reader(s) in the lurch without my ever-valued opinion to close the discussion on these cinematic selections. So, I instead offer up my latest invention, to deal with those pesky times when my review schedule has gotten too crowded: review by haiku.

Never Let Me Go

Distant, confused youths

Turn into sadder adults

Time waits for no one


Some bad-ass geezers

Beat up Karl Urban a lot

It’s Malkovich, bitch

Due Date

I can remember

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Hughes did it better

The Great Dictator

Master of slapstick

His humor can cut too close

But laugh ’til the end


If you need a more traditional take, fine: Never Let Me Go– 3 out of 4 stars, Red– 2 1/2 out of 4 stars, Due Date– 2 out of 4 stars, The Great Dictator– 3 out of 4 stars. Nothing really knocking my socks off lately.

I’ve mostly been enjoying plunging further into the career of Jean-Luc Godard, whom I was only recently introduced to when I saw the 60th anniversary restoration of “Breathless” for my film class. While I initially thought I still preferred François Truffaut as my favorite director of the Nouvelle Vague, ruminating on “Breathless,” “Contempt” and “Alphaville” is starting to turn my opinion. Godard has one of the most unique cinematic styles in history, and extended contemplation on his individual works is entirely necessary to cut through the apparent flashes of excess. My last-minute and somewhat half-hearted attempt to dress as Michel Poiccard (aka Jean-Paul Belmondo) from “Breathless” for Halloween is truly a sign that Godard is starting to get under my skin. Both the Academy’s Honorary Oscar and Godard’s reaction to the belated praise are, paradoxically, entirely justified.

In other news, the U.S. got a new theatrical trailer for Peter Weir’s “The Way Back.” Still a bit too frantic for my taste, I’d like to be able to really relish the grandeur of the landscape in LOTR fashion, but this is definitely an improvement over the international trailer that I previously posted, and gives a better look at some of the performances. Check it out.

Finally, a belated RIP to George Hickenlooper (director of the stellar documentary “Hearts of Darkness,” about the making of “Apocalypse Now”) and Jill Clayburgh (received consecutive Academy Award nominations in the 1970’s for “An Unmarried Woman” and “Starting Over”). They will be missed.



2 thoughts on “Odds and Ends

  1. “Time waits for no one.”

    You’re so profound, Mr. Gates. If this whole film critic idea doesn’t work out, you should fall back on poetry. :p

    But I did like that line, actually. 🙂

    You should still write a review of “Never Let Me Go.” For me, your most dedicated reader.

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