April 28th, 2015

This weekend was Hector and the Search for Happiness.   I wonder why it wasn’t the “pursuit” of happiness but never mind.    This was a TIFF film from last Sept which I picked up at the library.   Hector played by Simon Pegg is a psychiatrist in London with the same dreary clientele.   He has a girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) who I will speak of in more detail, but he is going through the motions.   He wants to explore happiness.   Pegg is generally very funny, but here that leaning and skill is little used.   Hector goes on a journey on his own to quite random places.   It becomes a travel log (Singapore?  Nepal?  Africa?  LA?)  There is struggles to make meaning of it all, while doodling on his pad and writing down nice sayings.

Pike had an interesting year last year with the Academy nominated Gone Girl performance where she played a manipulative psycho, and here a 180 turn as a simple and antiseptic girlfriend.   It is a bland performance, but there is not much material to work with.   It would have been better to see more of her.    As it was, she played the role of dutiful girlfriend.
This was given lukewarm reviews at TIFF and I can see why.   Glad I used my tickets on other films.
On second viewing, I am getting a lot more out of Interstellar.   Youngest son wished to watch it this weekend.   It did NOT hold his attention.  I think he was waiting for laser fights, light sabres and stormtroopers.   They did not happen.   For me, rather than trying to figure out the science, and follow the plot, I stuck to the relationship of father and daughter (both Cooper and the Doctors).   As I mentioned earlier, I am also getting much more out of the music and the church organ.  It adds so much, and much more noticeable now.   The blu-ray extra bit with Hans Zimmer was really interesting.    So I am glad that this was purchased.
I have now watched three episodes of Newsroom and have enjoyed it.  I always liked Emily Mortimer, but the star here really is Jeff Daniels, who shouldn’t ever play Dumb and Dumber again.   He is smart, intelligent, brash, bold, and makes mistakes.   The writing is excellent and the opening speech about America Not the Greatest Country and then the on-air Apology for pandering to poor news for ratings were brilliant.   I look forward to more.
Here is the speech:
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