Four Movies, Three Days

Eastern Promises — Sunday afternoon at Hackesche Hoefe Filmtheater in Berlin, right around the corner from Plazes HQ. Ticket purchase went like this:

Me: Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Clerk: Nein. Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Fortunately our language impasse was solved by the fact that there are only so many things one does in front of a ticket wicket, and I handed over my Euros and got my ticket. I thoroughly enjoyed it (as much as one can enjoy garroting) and I came to realize that Vigo Mortensen is actually as good as everyone says he is. Hackesche Hoefe has a very nice setup (it’s a little hard to find, as the entrance is inside a courtyard and the cinemas are behind an unmarked door on the top floor of the building; it’s also good to understand that “So.” on the schedule is the abbreviation for Sunday).

The Darjeeling Limited — Sunday night at the CineStar at Potsdamer Platz. The first theatre I’ve been to since we saw The Avengers in České Budějovice in 1998 that I’ve been to a movie theatre with assigned seats. Very comfortable theatre with excellent sound and picture (the Big Screen is well suited to the movie, which has a lot of panoramic shots of trains in India). A great movie too, especially speaking as someone with brothers.

Atonement — On British Airways flight 239 from London to Boston on Monday night on my “personal video screen” on the back of the seat in front of me. This was old school personal video, so all the movies started and ended at the same time (more modern systems have video “on demand” and you can start and pause at will). The movie is not a stunning tour de force but neither is it without its virtues. Keira Knightley was far less annoying here than in anything I’d seen her in previously.

I Am Legend — On Tuesday night at the Peterborough Community Theatre here in New Hampshire. This is a tiny theatre that runs 6 nights a week showing first run movies in a town of 6,000 people, which is a rare thing these days. Got to sample a Twix Java chocolate bar, which was oddly alluring. By far and away the highlight of the movie was the magic of making New York City appear deserted, effects done so well as to be indistinguishable from real. Otherwise it was a pretty straightforward zombie movie.