Movies I’ve Watched – 2008 (#1)

Waitress — A feel-good “dramedy” about a waitress with a talent for making pies who gets pregnant and falls for someone who isn’t her husband. It has a cute quirky quality that seems popular with shows like Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, if you like that kind of thing. (Jan. 2/08)

Primer — Some computer geeks create what turns out to be — I’m only guessing here — a time machine. They start messing with the space-time continuum and things go awry. It’s a science fiction movie with no special effects that begins with promise but quickly becomes frustrating by burying the essential drama of the story in unnecessary techno-babble. (Jan. 1/08)

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at

4 Replies to “Movies I’ve Watched – 2008 (#1)”

  1. Phillip, sorry to hear that Primer didn’t do much for ya – I’m pretty sure I’m the guy who recommended it to you. For me, it paid off in the final third of the movie, but I’ll agree that the technobabble was a bit much. I liked that it was a Asimov-style hard science kind of sci-fi without all of the typical CGI eye-candy & quasi-martial arts action scenes.

    However, I do still stand by my recommendation of Brick for a genre-bending whodunit.

  2. Primer does so many things right, it’s disappointing there’s no crystallizing moment that allows the audience to know exactly what’s going on. They didn’t have to dumb it down for the audience, but some straightforward exposition would have gone a long way to heightening the drama.

    I plan to watch Brick eventually. I have the DVD. I tried watching it a while back. It was too self-consciously stylish, which I wasn’t in the mood for at the time. I stopped after the first 10 minutes. I’ll get back to it when I’m more in the mood for it. I can tell it’s good.

  3. “Brick” does take a little to get into, but if you can push past the first 10-15 minutes, it starts drawing you in. I liked the contrast between the noir-style dialogue & story and the contemporary styling. MLW wasn’t altogether crazy about it tho…

    We watched “Sunshine” last weekend and it was a bit of a letdown for me. Refreshingly, it’s a more “hard” sci-fi than typical and the CGI is very seamless and serves the story well. The story is compelling, but a little jarring in the way it thrusts you into the plot very suddenly. But somehow it just seemed a little flat overall and I can’t quite put my finger on the “why.”

    I’ll be interested to read what your thoughts are on this one too.

  4. Rob, I agree with what you say about “Sunshine.” I recommend it for fans of hard science-fiction. It’s not a space opera/science-fantasy film where the director takes creative licence with the laws of physics — and I like that. The story might have been more compelling if they’d provided more character development — if they had focused more intently one a single character maybe. We get to see bits and pieces of the characters, but we don’t really get to know them. Things didn’t turn out so good for some, and I thought, “Too bad,” but I didn’t feel anything.

    And the ending felt like a cop-out. Without giving anything away, it didn’t work for me because it seemed like they hired a different writer to add an element to the story meant to attract 14-year-old horror fans. It doesn’t fit well with the rest of the story. The style of the film and the direction changes, too. Certain scenes (where bad things happen) are shot all blurry and confused so it’s hard to make out exactly what’s happening. Maybe they brought in a different director for those scenes to compensate for the bad writing thinking cheap camera tricks would be just as affective. They’re not.

    The faults in this movie nearly sunk it for me, but what is done well is done so well that it’s worth a look — if you’re a hard science fiction fan.

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