My two older nephews don’t like the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy for one reason…Tobey Maguire. And the reason for their aversion to one of Hollywood’s brighter talents? “He looks like he’s going to burst into tears at any moment!” Yes, I know, exasperating isn’t it? But what can you do with a couple of (nice) young opinionated men? What chance do I have in persuading them to watch The Ice Storm and Ride With the Devil? How many more sentences in a row can I end with a “?” I mention this because any cinephile worth his/ her salt will hopefully see where I’m going with this latest ramble.
Ang Lee cannot be constrained within boundaries marked “action director” or “does well with a rom-com” or any other nomenclature to describe his body of work. There aren’t many filmmakers who can readily bestride genres as successfully as Mr. Lee; he even does comic book superheroes! And while we’re on the subject, Hulk worked, without question. It was probably just a bit too deep for your common-or-garden comic book fanboy (no offence intended). While the titular Storm and Devil are clearly examples of intelligent, high quality filmmaking.
OK, please bare with me, we’re now entering set-up and pay-off territory. We, as parents, are currently in that lovely period of time when we get to spend a large portion of the summer with our offspring. In an attempt to elevate that period beyond a bore-fest for our daughter, my wife suggested that each of us propose five things we could do during the summer. One such item – suggested by our daughter – was to watch a film as a family “uninterrupted”. No phone calls, no playing on phones, no “time to start dinner” comments, nothing.
As a Sky TV subscriber I thought we could delve into the myriad of “On Demand” films on offer. In addition, Sky have just introduced the possibility of per-per-view via your wireless Sky box connection; just as well for me as my phone line is all the way over the other side of our house. Finally technology prevails! And there we have it – Life of Pi on Sky Box Office (SBO) in HD for £4.49. And boy was it money well spent! I have to admit to being SBO naive and so didn’t realise you could pay and download. This is somewhat relevant as when we decided to sit down as a family, I realised that a small amount of buffering was probably a good idea to achieve the “uninterrupted” part of the plan. Patience ran out at “13% downloaded” so we hit play and managed to get to 63% before the buffer ran out…bummer! Profuse apologies from the SBO noob proceeded and after a short while we viewed the remainder of the film “uninterrupted”. Your patience, dear follower, in getting this far is very much appreciated…honestly 🙂
Life of Pi is an experience. These are the films we love cinema for. These are the films we hope for. I’m not a man of god (sic), but the spirituality that exudes from every pore of Life of Pi is a heartwarming encounter. I have tried thus far with this Blog to convey my feelings about movies that are currently showing at cinemas/ movie theatres. But Life of Pi has compelled me to share my thoughts, even though it has long disappeared from our movie screens. The visuals are quite simply breathtaking and oh, how I wish I’d seen them on the big screen. The smattering of images I have laced through this ramble can only partially convey the beauty that is on offer. The sense of loss encountered during the narrative is palpable. Pi’s loneliness in the company of another is a tragedy and a triumph. I could write more, but why spoil it for any of you that haven’t seen it yet? Life of Pi is by-far-and-away the best film I’ve seen this year and, quite honestly, for at least the last few. I would urge you to experience it for yourself and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.