Some thoughts on some of the things I've been seeing with my new Netflix membership:
- Once Upon a Time in the West was worth seeing, but didn't live up to my expectations. Unsurprisingly, it seemed very similar in style to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (which I recently saw for the first time, after reading Michael Canfield's story "Once Upon a Time at the Learning Annex"); as with that movie (and the Godfather trilogy), I can see how Once Upon a Time in the West could've been a big deal at the time, but I didn't particularly enjoy it as a movie. Though it had its moments. And I continue to be fascinated by how much of history was driven by economic considerations.
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was also, I'm afraid, kinda disappointing to me; sorry to those of you who loved it. I suppose my expectations were probably too high, based on the high praise everyone gave it when it came out, the presence of Jim Carrey (I've liked almost everything of his I've seen, much to my surprise), and the fact that it was written by Charlie Kaufman. And overall I thought the movie was fine; just not spectacular. I think if I'd gone into it without knowing the premise, I'd have probably liked it more, but a ten-word summary of the premise covers about the first three-quarters of the movie. I figured out what was going on (in terms of chronology) about 20 minutes into the movie, and kept waiting for there to be something more going on; but mostly the middle just seemed repetitive to me. I may post more about this later.
- I've really been enjoying The West Wing. (I'm about eight episodes into season 1.) The writing is sharp and funny, the acting good, the characters sympathetic but sharp-edged. It's often seems to me not quite as funny or as sharp as I think it's trying to be—but somewhere along the way, often near the end of an episode, something happens that makes each episode really work; the endings are often very moving. I'm trying to watch how they do it, 'cause I think it has something to do with the structure, but I haven't figured it out yet. Anyway, I'll continue watching this.
'kay, enough from me; off to work.