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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Venus: A Ten Point Review

  1. As an examination of an old, fading theater star’s obsession with a young woman, there are moments in the file that are phenomenally uncomfortable. That is actually a saving grace--it lends it a sense of honesty that could easily have been missed.
  2. It’s also funny as hell. At least, it’s funny when it isn’t almost painfully sad--and it switches between those two poles regularly.
  3. It’s lightweight, but actually fairly smart. It’s view of the elderly as well-rounded people, imperfect and with needs and desires, is more complete and touching than most movies that you’ll see.
  4. Peter O’Toole is, still, one of the finest actors in the world.  Not only is his voice beautiful, but the way he speaks is commanding. His phrasing, his laughter, that little gleam in his sunken eyes still draw in viewers in a way that few other actors of any age could manage. His face is so expressive that in the quietest, most still moments, he finds the perfect expression of fading life. He is an artist.
  5. That said, he looks a good bit older than is 74 years would suggest. 
  6. In fact, though, the performances are strong throughout.
  7. The cinematography is effective, if not exactly inspired.
  8. Irritatingly, I couldn’t find it at my local Blockbuster and ended up buying it on a trip to Barnes & Noble where I was picking up a book on PHP & MySQL (which is another story entirely).
  9. “God, he was gorgeous.” What a surprising line to bring a tear to the eye.
  10. Venus is strongly recommended, although it isn’t what I would consider a truly important movie. Just an awfully good movie with a number of excellent performances and one transcendent turn by Peter O’Toole. Beware, though: there are a few scenes that step right up to creepy in the odd relationship.

None of which changes the fact that this guy has great taste in blog posts. This young lady does, too.

Update: A much better review than my own, and from a respected voice. I did like the movie more than he did, but I’m a sucker for O’Toole.

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I’m more interested in the PHP and MySQL story, which comes with the requisite offer of assistance.

on Jun 08 2007 @ 12:33 AM

Does No. 9 refer to the young O’Toole character.

on Jun 08 2007 @ 02:12 PM

Yeah. There’s a point in the movie where a waitress sees an old picture of him in the newspaper. She had been serving him and his friends for years and she hadn’t really realized who he was.

And, Jerry, I’ll send you an email later to tell you that story. It’s not entirely safe for blog consumption.

on Jun 08 2007 @ 02:15 PM

I must say that I would have acted inappropriately in that situation. O’Toole was drop dead gorgeous when he was young, even when playing the sinister Nazi serial killer in “The General.”
You probably can not relate to that. I just had to say it anyway.

on Jun 08 2007 @ 02:23 PM

Actually, I’ve always thought that he was an amazingly attractive man. And in those early movies, his eyes are stunning.

Of course, I don’t feel it quite the way that you do…

on Jun 08 2007 @ 03:08 PM

I didn’t like it quite as much as you did, but most of your points were spot on. I reviewed it when it was actually in theatres at XDA.

on Jun 09 2007 @ 12:48 PM

That’s a good review. Far better than the ten little notes that I put up.

on Jun 09 2007 @ 01:43 PM

I’d like to hear about the PHP, too.  Because I am apparently in need of a life.

on Jun 11 2007 @ 04:25 PM

Poor bastuhd.

Okay, instead of emails, then, here’s the scoop: I’m not a programmer. I know this, I tell others this, and I never, ever lie about my abilities. I’m not a programmer. I also have the most marginal of skills when it comes to databases. I’m hired because I have enough technical skill to maintain sites and build sites and because I have extensive experience with press jobs along with a decent portfolio of projects.

I’ve never, ever been hired to be a programmer.

I’ve just left the busiest part of the company’s year, and entered my very busiest part of the year. I have to redesign and deploy our sites while putting together a full media kit covering all of our products and two mini media kits covering a subset of those products--and I have to do it all in the next three weeks.

So, our overworked database admin, who also writes code for our site as needed, has asked me to help write all of the code that I need for the new site and port over a tiny bit of old ASP stuff over to PHP.

The bad news is (let’s revisit): I’m not a programmer.

The good news is: our needs are minimal.

See? Not a big deal.

on Jun 11 2007 @ 06:46 PM

Dude, you’re not a programmer?

My offer of assistance is still open. I’ve decided that the core Web technologies at my new job will be PHP and MySQL (with an eventual move from Windows/IIS to Linux/Apache) and so I’ve started working with those technologies regularly. If you need any help just let me know.

on Jun 12 2007 @ 10:32 AM

PHP is actually a pretty friendly language. I’m sure you’ll have it mastered by the time I finish this sentence.

I’ll keep your off in mind and probably take you up on it--especially when I get back from Florida and rush to finish it off.

on Jun 12 2007 @ 12:13 PM
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