Life of Pi

I took my time getting ready for the day. I took the bus into Emeryville to the Target store. I thought of buying the Blu-ray edition of “101 Dalmatians,” but it cost more than I thought it would, so I bought just my Tide detergent and a poncho. I took the bus over to the Grand Lake Theatre so that I could catch a double feature. It started with “Life of Pi.” A lot of it is a story of survival that brings to mind “Cast Away,” “Open Water,” “Lifeboat,” and “All is Lost.” The discussion of religion made that think that Pi was a fool. I wondered what happened to Anandi. This ship in the storm made me think of “Titanic” and “The Black Stallion.” The only actor I recognized the first time I saw this movie was Gerard Depardieu, who was a cook with a bad attitude. Some of the images are impressive, even if they are CGI. There was so way that a person could get so close to an actual tiger. Some of these shots reminded me of “Bringing Up Baby.” Pi made a great error in removing the crackers and the water from the compartment into a vulnerable place. It seemed that he should have tried to kill the tiger. The animal was mostly CGI, although I read that a real tiger was used in some shots of him swimming. The part about the carnivorous island was bizarre. Of course, we’re told two stories about what happened. One seems to be a symbolic story that is like “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and one seems to be a literal account. I didn’t think it was good storytelling to give us both if the view was slanted in a particular way. We already had a Rashomon story from Akira Kurosawa. The movie was exhausting to watch because the main character suffered so much. Pi had a great amount of luck with the flying fish and the island, although he mismanaged his supplies. I wondered how badly the boat smelled with the dead animals aboard. I could believe that Pi could survive 227 days lost at sea. The tiger was losing weight. I wonder if he ate all those flying fish. There was no way the film crew could really allow the tiger to go through the weight loss before of the suffering that everyone goes through. Ang Lee is a good director, but I’d still question whether he deserved an Oscar for this one. Part of the director’s job is judging content and passing along values and beliefs. I certainly didn’t view this movie as a true Best Picture Oscar contender because it is much too flawed. I wished that I could meet Ang Lee so that I could debate the merits of this material in making a decent movie. I thought it was a shame that we didn’t see Pi’s family through the entire movie. I read on IMDB that Tobey Maguire was originally in the movie but was cut. I would have liked to decide whether he should have been in the movie or not. Why should I have to go along with Ang Lee’s decision? I didn’t sit through the end credits. I was tired and so I went upstairs to a chair to rest up for the second feature. I counted only six people in the theatre for the first movie, and so I wasn’t counting on seeing another double feature weekend for a long time. Some of the people who died on November 14 include Gottfried Leibniz (1716), Tony Richardson (1991), Jack Finney (1995), and Eddie Bracken (2002). Today is a birthday for Prince Charles (67).

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