Match Frame

Thoughts from an American editor and filmmaker in New Zealand about film and video production and post-production. Plus whatever else I feel like talking about.

Location: Balmoral, Auckland, New Zealand

A work in progress.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

well, that's been a season.

Finished a show, went to the States, hung out in LA, backpacked with my Dad and brother in Isle Royale, saw my friend Sara get married in South Bend, saw The Dodos, Bon Iver, HEALTH, and lots of other musical goodness at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago as well as witnessing an intimate performance by Lord of The Yum-Yum, came back to Auckland in the middle of a rainstorm, got food poisoning, got a job editing a show, am part way through that, got another job editing another show come October that will be based out of Dunedin, so I'll be there from Oct - Feb, give or take. Moved out of my old flat, into a new one, had a flatmate move out, maybe we found somebody, will know soon I think. Lots of other dramas. None that I feel like talking about.

Last Sunday Hybrid made its first video since our 48 Hours entry (which will be online, possibly, sometime before the next 48 hours). You can watch it here. This Sunday we'll be doing our next one.

I stopped writing for the Nonalignment Pact a couple months ago, and since then I have written virtually nothing apart from correspondence. I have some ideas - too many, as always - but am not sure where I'm going with them.

But I will, for at least a short time - or until a director writes me and tells me I should kill myself, as happened the last time I did this - write some thoughts about movies that I watch.

So, HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY. I watched the first HELLBOY (director's cut) a couple weeks ago and was surprised how much I liked it; particularly, I was in love with Del Toro's staging of the action scenes. This movie promised more imaginative effects, characters, et cetera, but despite delivering on that point for me it largely fell flat. Talking with Alastair, I can't decide if it's:

1. The lack of a human protagonist (Myers, the audience identification character from the first one, doesn't even appear; he's apparently been shipped to Antarctica, by Hellboy, as a joke or something).
2. The switch of milieu from dark occult supernatural to goblin/fairy/troll supernatural.
3. The choppy editing of action scenes, which was definitely not a hallmark of the first one and one of my most major disappointments.
4. The feeling that we've been there, done that, either from the previous movie (villain invading hero's lair) or from every superhero movie ever (the public doesn't understand that the heroes are on their side!)
5. The general lack of tragedy compared to the first one.
6. The general sense that the heroes are five minutes behind you in figuring out the appropriate course of action (two major examples: one is early on and involves them shooting at very small opponents when the obvious solution lies with one of their basic powers; the other involves the titular [heh] Golden Army and is presaged in the opening scene).
7. Something else entirely I haven't figured out yet.

That said, it's certainly not without moments; it's a production designer's wet dream, every five minutes or so there's another jawdroppingly imaginative character design, and I could watch little mechanical doohickeys like the crown or the background monster gags during Jeffrey Tambor's first appearance all day. In a weird way, it's a movie that gets so many details right but loses the larger picture.


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