For this week, I was looking at what is currently in theatres and I am underwhelmed. Nothing captures my interest, and certainly not my movie-going dollar. So I go back to Netflix, and these days Crave.
This weekend I watched Tulip Fever, which has an impressive cast including Alicia Vikander, Christoph Walz, Dame Judy Dench and that guy from that sci-fi mistake Valerian and Thousand Planets or something or rather. How can you spend so much money on quality talent and then hand then a rudimentary story. All of this is framed around the famed Tulip exchange and marketplace from the 17th Century in Amsterdam. We were all reminded of the Tulip curve as Bitcoin went on its maniacal stretch run late last year reached $22,000 a coin to back to earth nowadays. Gordon Gecko also had a picture of the price on his office wall. In short, a marketplace can sometimes turn inexplicable. Anyway, that backdrop where certain characters get caught in the buying and selling frenzy of tulip bulbs is interlaced with a slow story about an older, established man (Walz) who has had a previous marriage where his children were taken and he “buys” the services of a new wife (Vikander). All that he wants is another baby (I think there is a song kind of like that) and they are having a tough time conceiving. He decides, out of the blue, to have a portrait painted of himself from a young local artist. You see, nothing says virility amongst your friends and community like having a hot wife on your arm. Seems not much changes over the ages. So he wants a picture of him and her. She then connects with the painter and then all stories head in various directions. The absurdity of the Tom Hollander aspect of this mess comes to light quickly. But maybe that is the point as the whole tulip market was an absurdity in itself. But quality actors are wasted in this tale. It spent very little time at the theatre, and I am pleased that I managed to see it at home. Pass on it.
The second episode of Game of Thrones was last night, and I have to admit to being underwhelmed. And without giving anything away, and truly there wasn’t much to actually give away in this episode, the turning point in my viewing was when a number of characters are sitting around a fire and one says “does anyone know a song?” Really?! I was half expecting them to look at one another and say “No” but then Ed Sheeran would peer out from a back curtain and belt out a tune! And can I mention a word about episode one of this Season 8, where for the first time that I recall has anyone ever talked about the practicalities of feeding and providing for a sizeable army. Sansa Stark has her Captain Obvious moment where she mentions “I have provisions for the people of Winterfell, but not all these additional people”. Horses, people, tents, weapons, etc. It’s a fair point, but could have been brought forward early in Season 1. But never mind. Episode 2 was and is the pre-cursor to next week where FINALLY we have an epic battle between the White Walkers and those in Winterfell. It’s taken an eternity to come to this point. But bring it!! Instead we get this kumbaya moment of characters awaiting their fate and deciding what they wish to do with it. It’s almost as though we have a listing of current characters for the Death Pools that have run rampant on the Net. Who will live, and who will die in this battle? Yawn. This has been a series that from the beginning has just gotten on with it, and this felt like filler. Next week should be a different story as we see dragons again, doing what dragons do!!