Friday, February 04, 2005

Here’s an offer that anyone interested can utilize. It could be a fun little diversion:

I will take a topic that someone suggests, and study it for one month to see if I can learn anything of value. After the month is over, I will write about what I’ve learned.

Any topic will be considered, but if I get more than one response, I will pick the one I like the most, and announce what the study will be. Then I’ll report back in one month.

A link to my spare e-mail account is at the link above the picture of me sitting on compacted cubes of scrap aluminum.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Aviator was full of distractions for me at the beginning. For one thing, I didn’t like the colors of the early portion of the movie, which seemed limited to green and orange hues. Then I left the theatre for a couple of minutes, and when I got back, the colors for the arrival at the Hepburn’s estate were worse: oversaturated green, blue, and pink. I've seen effective use of altered colors or a focus on certain hues (Traffic and Blue come to mind), but I didn't think this was one of them. The early scenes in the movie reminded me of classic movies that have been colorized.

Another distraction was Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Katherine Hepburn. Who could portray her accurately? Blanchett's performance seemed mannered, and I could only focus on the extent to which Blanchett did not seem like Hepburn.

The movie also seemed to move a little slowly (although now that I look, other reviewers say the time “races past”); I found myself looking at my watch. And I have patience for long movies.

But once I got used to the distractions, or they went away, as with the unusual coloring, I noticed what I had been missing. The best thing about this movie is Leonardo DiCaprio. I can say that and I’m not even a fan. I always thought he was a punk, especially after the overhyped, overwatched, special-effects-wonder-without-a-decent-plot Titanic. But I always forget about personal preferences when I see a well-done performance. I thought DiCaprio’s role in Aviator was amazing. His acting was quite a bit more mature than his age, and was reminiscent to me of Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. I want to see more.

By the end of the movie, I was enjoying it. The plot turned after I thought I knew the direction of the movie, and it made for a pleasant surprise. And Cate Blanchett seemed to grow into the Hepburn role.

Overall, the movie is an interesting look at what drives a brilliant person—both from a positive and a negative perspective.

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