Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gabriel and the Blue Planet


On Monday night, I was able to use two free double passes to take three friends to see the preview of "Gabriel", a new independently-produced Australian movie which officially premieres on Thursday.

I'd seen a trailer for it a few months ago, but had no idea at the time that "Gabriel" was an Australian film. It certainly looks interesting, but the story failed to keep me enthralled. The storyline didn't seem all that innovative. Fallen arch angels battling Lucifer's minions on the level playing field of Purgatory has been done before, and better, by many other films.

Too often, I found myself analysing the filming techniques, the actors (it was a little distracting that one near-death arch angel is currently an alcoholic doctor in "All Saints", and the woman trying to heal him is a doctor in "Home and Away"), the script and the special effects. It reminded me a bit of a moody, almost monochromatic, long music video, although thankfully the music was used sparingly, and was actually quite good.

We recognised several cast and crew in the cinema, and there were some very funny moments as guffaws, from various darkened locations, floated through the air whenever certain two-line extras mumbled dialogue at each other.

The executive producer had congratulated us all on winning a contest to get the tickets - hey, I just picked up mine from a bookshop counter! - but my guests commented wryly that they were glad I didn't have to buy the tickets, or do anything too strenuous to "win' them.

Blue Planet

Tonight, it was back into the CBD once more: for the 40th anniversary of IMAX cinemas. There was champagne - and wonderful canapes (oh my diet!) - in an effort to bring more teachers and their excursion groups into Darling Harbour. The screening was a revamped version of "Blue Planet", with stunning NASA photography from various shuttle missions, Earthbound footage of glaciers, hurricanes African animals, and amazing CGI effects.

I sometimes "bliss out" watching IMAX documentaries, but this one was riveting. I have no need of travelling in the space shuttle now. I feel like I've already been there.

I have seen the Big Blue Marble with my own eyes.

The goodie bag was fun too: miniature squeegees, for one's computer monitor screens, a pen, lots of pamphlets, and a strip of real IMAX footage. Not bad for a free night's entertainment.

Captain's Log: Supplemental. The ABC's "The Movie Show" did an interesting pair of reviews on "Gabriel" this week. David hated it, and gave it 1.5 stars, saying it was tedious and unoriginal; Margaret loved it and gave it 3.5 stars. I think I'm still somewhere in between.

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