I get so excited on days when I'm expecting something from Netflix. I met my postal carrier at the end of the driveway today and thanked her for the movies. I just mailed The Shipping News back, and I was ready for something a little less snowy and a little more animated. So between Dancer in the Dark and Buckaroo Banzai, you can probably guess which one I watched tonight.
In case you can't guess, it was The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension. The director claims he prefers it when people call it simply "Buckaroo Banzai." I'm pretty sure I read something in Kymm's journal that prompted me to put this one on my list. This is a movie unlike any other, and I'm not sure what that means except that you probably either love it or you don't get it at all. I didn't really get it, even with the director's commentary track added. He's weird, too.
I do like oddball futuristic movies, like the Mad Max series and Motorama. I like tongue-in-cheek science fiction like Explorers and Star Kid. In fact, I liked all of those a little more than Buckaroo Banzai.
The Shipping News has its own quirky little niche, the one and only (as far as I know) semi-supernatural character study set on the coast of Newfoundland. It's beautifully photographed and wonderfully acted. I was tempted to turn the sound off and just watch the faces of Kevin Spacey and Judi Dench as the lives of their characters unfolded. Amazing.
Amazing, but not meant for everyone. I wouldn't recommend it to lovers of action movies, because there isn't much. (Some, but not much.) It's subtle and quiet, and the little epiphanies that mark the characters' gradual awakenings are underplayed to great effect. But of course that implies that at first they're asleep, in some sense of the word. I know some people that will go to sleep themselves, just thinking about sitting through this kind of movie. I liked it, though.