Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Little Chaos

A Little Chaos (2014; Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alan Rickman) was an absolutely fabulous movie to watch even on a little laptop next to my own lovely provider of same; perhaps even more so. The title comes from Sabine de Barra's relatively unconventional approach to landscape architecture, which is an issue initially when she is contracted to design a portion of the garden at Versaille. Winslet plays a beautiful, tortured, strong, and talented woman of the seventeenth century, and Rickman plays Louis XIV with an understated world-weary cynicism as only Rickman can. The court that follows the king is gorgeously passive-aggressive, and the master architect that Winslet falls for is gratifyingly likable. I enjoyed this one a lot. (I'm a sucker for period dramas, granted.)

Winslet and Rickman discuss flowers

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Erased (2012; Aaron Eckhardt, Liana Liberato) was just starting when I came downstairs. The women had ordered it and settled in for a relaxing couple hours of couch tuberosity so I took my place just after "something bad" had happened. Ben Logan (Eckhardt) was an expat getting to know his teenaged daughter while being the main engineering expert at a high-tech security firm in Brussels. There were some nice lab shots and tense undercurrents and after almost killing his child by feeding her peanuts (not much of a dad) and spending the night with her in the hospital, he went back to work to find the place completely emptied out and all his coworkers missing. Pretty soon he's dragging his daughter around the low countries, trying to solve the mystery while dodging assassins and the police, all the while establishing healthy father-daughter bonds by patching bullet wounds, killing people with his bare hands, etc.

The plot was a remix of whatever they stole the Bourne movies from, the attempts at snappy dialog were kyped from whoever filled the pulp pages when Mickey Spillane was on vacation, and the emotional moments between parent and child mainly consisted either of her being mad at him for not telling her he knew how to kill people, or the two of them running into each other's arms yet again after being separated by the action. The main villain was a super-rich industrialist with bad old-person skin (this is how you knew he was evil), and the supporting characters mostly either "good" CIA (have a conscience) or "bad" CIA (do not -- and I might have good and bad mixed up).

Don't worry, everyone's fine

Side note: There's a moment five or ten minutes in that takes place in Antwerp and I swear it looks like Alan Hope walking by.