The fine folks over at Baseball-Reference have, or "had" now I guess, a feature called the Play Index. You could use it to do all sorts of fun and interesting queries; complicated too. (Who had the most walks, barring intentional ones, as a rookie in a road playoff game?) It was a good feature, and … Continue reading Stathead Start-up
Written and directed by Tom McCarthy, Dinklage plays Finbar MacBride, a reclusive train enthusiast who works in a model train shop owned by his only friend. When his friend dies suddenly, the shop is closed and sold and Fin decides to move to small Newfoundland, New Jersey and take up residence in a small, old station agent's office left to him by his friend. It feels less deliberate than necessary for Fin, who is alone and has few possessions other than the deed which was his only bequest from his dead friend/employer.
While it talks somewhat about the history of comics, (comic strips, not comic books, as you might have already surmised from the title) and somewhat about the future of comics, it's really a snapshot of the present moment. Dave Kellett makes gestures at a neutral point of view, but he's clearly a partisan for moving past print. (As a webcomic artist with two strips, it isn't exactly surprising.) It colors his presentation, but it isn't crippling. His editorial hand isn't too heavy and many of the interviews with people are available in their entirety apart from the film itself.
Selfishly, I'd like Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to find a better niche than just being an American version of Jason Statham. Good money in it, I guess. Johnson does have better comedy chops; his sense of timing is pretty good. This movie sure feels like it has aspirations of making him into an actor with more dramatic range. It doesn't really work. He broods his way through the film in silence; it's not bad, but doesn't allow him space to really shine. Johnson isn't a great actor who can convey complex emotion without words. He's a good actor who can deliver lines effectively.
Chiwetel Ojiofor plays a warrior and teacher of warriors. He's an ex-SOF operator who now teaches martial arts in Los Angeles. He has little money which is a constant source of friction between him and his ambitious wife whose brothers all make a good living from their martial arts. Ojiofor instead lives more like a monk, teaches a life dedicated to the pursuit of victory, and enforces on himself and his students an attitude of persistence.