i walked the line, and more

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thanks to raj and kiera (raj...did i spell that right? gah.), i had the opportunity to see a free early screening (thursday night) of the new movie walk the line about johnny cash. being a big cash fan, i was worried it was going to be very disappointing. fortunately, it wasn't. however, i was never able to get to the point where joaquin phoenix turned into johnny cash or reese witherspoon turned into june carter cash. they did a really good job with the singing and got the mannerisms and facial expressions and such down really well, but it never was enough to get me past the fact it was them. the filming style and narrative were pretty straightforward, but that's okay for the story being told so i thought it did a good job and was worth seeing. if you aren't a big fan of cash, you'd probably not be as distracted by joaquin.

a few days before i saw walk the line i rented primer, which is a character-driven sci-fi story about time travel and how that capability affects people. it was done for something like $7000 by a guy (shane carruth) from dallas/fort worth. he wrote it, directed it, did sound, did all the music for it (except one song...done by his brother), edited it, etc. it was his first film. even without knowing all that when i watched it, i was pretty impressed. adding all that on, i was really impressed. the engineering/technical background and characters were handled well, the filming style was cool, the plot and dialogue were well done. the complexity of the overlapping timelines and multiple copies of characters makes the last 20 minutes or so bend your brain, but it's still an impressive film and worth multiple viewings. i guess that's why it beat out garden state at sundance.

speaking of garden state, i just happened to rent it at the same time. i watched it and...i thought it was okay. a couple of days later i watched the extras, and i found myself liking the deleted scenes and extended scenes more than i'd expected. i'm not sure if it's one of those movies where it's not as good or equal to the sum of its parts, or if it would seem better if i watched it one or two more times.

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A friend of mine knows Shane Carruth and told me to see Primer in the theater. I've seen it a few times and it gets better and I figure it out a little more each time. Go to the website for the film. There used to be a discussion group that shed more light on what was going on during the film. As you know, it is easy to get lost while viewing it. I think Jo and I are seeing Walk the Line on Thanksgiving.

Good to hear a positive review since I was looking forward to the release. This one should actually get me out to the theater for the first time in a very long while.

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