USS Effingham

I said it made more of an attempt at storytelling than the average Transformers film, true. But I also suggested it pipe down with the ridiculous noise and get off my lawn forever; so there’s that. I’m still figuring out whether its quoting of the Pink Panther is radical or risible.

But how’s this for an odd place to find a claim to posterity. The way the film uses its double-amputee veteran, and for that matter the calls it makes on the soldier-actor involved and the presentation of his disability, is worthy of a serious look. Or at least, of something more than dismissal as a further helping of tub-thumping jingoism, served up for a particular constituency that’s squarely in the film’s dugout. Not that it isn’t kind of that too. But let’s give the film the benefit of the doubt; partly since it has quite the sense of humour, and partly since so much else about it is doubtful as hell.

All this and Village People references in the Battleship review over here, at Critic’s Notebook.

On the opposite side of the moon: Carol Morley’s film Edge deals in fragments from some well-mined seams of English drama. Tea-cups and stoical suicides and wry monologues about heartbreak are the currency. The director films the daylight scenes at a calm, considered distance; and then starts cutting at a rapid click, swiping back and forth between the parallel stories in the middle of the night at a much faster pace than a Play For Today would have dared back in the old days. The technique adds as much cinematic juice to the story as it can stand, wisely or not. The design and textures in the production are a different matter; Edge is a fine entry in Awful Wallpaper cinema, and the ratty outfits speak volumes. So does Nichola Burley when she loses her temper, which luckily happens in her films a lot.

The review of Edge is here, at the same venue.

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