As may have guessed, I’m not a video games person, I maybe have heard the words Game boy but never experienced it nor have I even watched anyone playing it. And before watching Tetris (Apple) last week I had no idea that it is puzzle video game. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the movie–a loosely constructed origin story of the wildly popular video game introduced in the 1980’s. It’s kind of a thriller and it kept me riveted and rooting for the two heroes: American Henk Rogers and the Russian inventor Alexey Pajitnov. It’s got everything and just like my problem with spy movies I didn’t quite understand some of the interplay–Russian bureaucracy, corruption, British schemers and scammers, American slime balls–all that and more! (but it didn’t interfere with my enjoying the film). On a different note I watched the Korean film Decision to Leave ( by mistake- I meant to watch another Korean film Return to Seoul, a French film which I plan to watch soon). Director Park Chan-wook appears to have quite a following. Most reviewers describe it as “good” but not as good as his other films. Billed as noir it certainly does have many characteristics of that genre, but don’t expect the narrative clarity of the 40’s and 50’s. It seems to weave in and out of reality and has a structure that can be a little difficult to follow. But I was intrigued and it makes me want to try out another of Chan-wook’s films. And for something completely different, on the recommendation of a friend I joined Showtime in order to watch a series called Episodes with Friends star Matt Leblanc. ( I think it can be purchased on Apple). Is it deep? No. Does it say anything new about the L.A. culture? Nope. Is is it tasteful and sensitive? Absolutely not. Is it funny? I’m afraid to admit yes. If you think Seinfeld is funny or Larry David’s other show Curb Your Enthusiasm, then you will probably enjoy with a similar guilt. The series ran five seasons and it’s a decade old, but it doesn’t feel outdated. As always, send me your thoughts and recmmendations.
Tetris, Decision to Leave, Episodes