Thursday, February 11, 2010
DVR Clearout I
My taping appetite has apparently exceeded my capacity to watch the things that I record, so today I decided to buckle down and watch a bunch of the stuff that I've been avoiding for a while. The Olympics are coming (perhaps you've heard?) and I anticipate that there will probably be a few events that I'll need to tape, so I want to make sure that I have room.
Part of the problem is that the kind of movie that I like (and like to tape, evidently) is the kind of movie that requires a certain frame of mind to watch: the PVR is currently full of Very Serious Films, that cannot simply be watched while I'm puttering around with other things. They need (and, arguably, deserve) my full attention. Anything that's a bit more fluffy gets watched quite quickly.
Thus far I've been successful in clearing out some CSI, Criminal Minds, and Star Trek: Voyager, but I also managed to watch The Pelican Brief, starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts, based on the Grisham novel of the same name. I'd watched and read The Pelican Brief years ago when they first came out (and yes, that would put me at about 11 or 12; my parents never restricted me as a reader). It was an interesting film to revisit. So much of the plot depends on conventions of film writing that are now dated and nearly obsolete. Cell phones, in particular, completely eliminate the "but how will I get ahold of you?" tension in the plot; Julia Roberts's character would have a much harder time going off the grid if the movie were written today. The ways in which the various characters are restricted (in terms of movement) by the need stay in contact with others is fascinating. In these days of email and instant communication, the idea of the hard copy of the actual Pelican Brief being passed around is also quite fascinating, as is the card catalogue/filing cabinet style research that Roberts and Washington do.
I'm not a huge Grisham fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I do find some of his work entertaining. It makes me kind of sad that what is actually a decent legal thriller is now more curious for its antique qualities than its plot.