In the beginning, there was writer-director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the
Rings series, and it was good. There was Middle Earth, a magical world
of elves, wizards, hobbits, dwarves and men. Even those who were not
fans of the books on which those movies are based find themselves
settling in to watch The Return of the King on a Sunday afternoon.
There have been so many addiction and recovery stories in the past
decade that it’s entirely reasonable to think we don’t need another. As
singer-songwriter Mike Doughty writes in his recent drug-filled memoir
The Book of Drugs, the title of Caroline Knapp’s book, Drinking: A Love
Story, says it all.
Life of Pi is a 3D-enhanced movie that avoids 3D trappings. Its use is like Avatar’s: completely immersive. It’s also a successful adaptation of a popular novel—no easy feat—that’s set mostly on a life raft.
One day, someone will have to explain the virtues of the adultery movie. Not because adultery is immoral; why would a filmmaker stack the deck
from the beginning against the lead characters? Moviegoers can forgive
the Joker for blowing up half of Gotham City.