Directed by Peter WeirUnited States, United Arab Emirates | 2010
It’s in the desert that the seeds of character development finally bear fruit. We see the group struggle to find water. Mister Smith spots an oasis to the east, but is begged by Janusz to continue south as he thinks it a mirage. After an arduous montage, there’s a brief respite at the oasis, merely a water well and a few skinny trees. The survival motif truly reaches harrowing levels after this, with some of the party dying before they leave the desert. One of these death scenes, in particular, is beautifully composed while heartbreaking and all by itself redeems the slow build-up. At this point, Weir’s characters have earned our investment in their journey, but, sadly, the reward for our patience is their agony and demise.
Directed by Peter JacksonUnited States, United Kingdom, New Zealand | 2009
It would seem that somewhere along the way Jackson forgot how to communicate with audiences and is now quite convinced that if he could just spend enough money and just augment an image enough digitally he might, just might, actually manage to establish some sort of repartee with the people in the cinema. Like his King Kong – which I’ll admit right now is one of the single most unpleasant viewing experiences I’ve ever had, a film shaped by an uncanny ability by the director to pervert every single positive of the original and create something both inexorably tedious and unconvincing – this film is just a chore from start to finish.