Thursday, March 01, 2007


I woke up this morning not to my alarm, but to the clackety-clack of frozen rain tickering down my window. All the cars outside are coated in a frozen bumpy crust, and it's windy, so the walk should be brutal. In like a lion, I suppose.

For years, I've been wanting to watch the short films that get nominated for Oscars. The Michigan Theater finally came through this week and I got to see all the animated shorts last night. They showed the five nominees and five additional shorts. The winner, The Danish Poet, certainly deserved it. It was a 15-minute flat animation about the serendipitous events that lead to parents meetings, clever and intriguing and funny all the while.

I also enjoyed One Rat Short, a gritty love story between two rats, because of its astounding technical achievements.

The raunchy computer-animated A Gentleman's Duel was wildly entertaining, though not quite Oscar-worthy material.

My only complaint is whatever copies they played were really heavily compressed. They were obviously projecting a screener DVD into the theater, and the compression artifacts made it very difficult to see any sort of darker scenes. This would be fine if we were only charged a couple dollars to see it, but if I'm paying full price I expect full quality.

Finally, I'm not sure whether to be really excited or discouraged by this review of the movie 300. On one hand, I hope there's more substance to it than just CGI brutality, but on the other hand, occasionally I'm just in the mood to watch stylized primal violence. It seems 300 will deliver both in spades.

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