Sunday, September 16, 2007

December Boys

I went to see this today. It's a coming of age story about four Australian orphan boys (all born in December--hence the title) who spend a holiday together at the seashore. It was just OK. I'd recommend waiting for it to come out on DVD and renting it. No need to rush out to see it in the theaters...

First off, I think it definitely proves that Daniel Radcliffe has a career after the Potter series is over. Good on him as the December Boys would say. Scenically, the movie works nicely--giving us a tour of an Australian sea cove. But the voiceover seems intrusive--mostly because it's used inconsistently and for some odd reason, even though the story is set in Australia, there's nary a g'day accent to be found. Everyone sounds very British. The scenes are disjointed and seem random at times. And characters enter into the story without much introduction or explanation.

I've never read the book, but I'm certain it was far better than the film adaptation. December Boys got fairly respectable reviews--and I don't fault the casting, acting (save the lack of authentic Aussie accents) or cinematography. But somewhere along the line--whether it was in the adaption of the book or the filming of the script or on the editing room floor, the story got muddied and muddled.

There were only half a dozen or so people in the theater when I saw this at 11:15 am. But wouldn't you know, one of them would cackle loudly at any mildly amusing bits. Annoying. And then I kept hearing the muffled sounds of music in the background. Like someone was listening to a radio while watching the movie. You could only hear it in quieter scenes, but it was driving me crazy. Then when I was walking home from the theater, I pulled out my iPod--and it was already playing. Or more accurately STILL PLAYING. D'oh!

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