Thursday, June 20, 2024


I may not be the best movie reviewer. I can't recall ever sitting down for instance and writing a movie review for a movie I've liked. On the other hand, I've listed a few for many years on the About Me. They may not speak to the quality of the films but they are certainly movies I've enjoyed watching repeatedly. The movie tonight was not such a movie. In the most intense ways imaginable it sucked.

We watched Oppenheimer tonight and I found the story engaging but the qualities that make a movie watchable were almost totally absent. The sound quality was pure crap. Dialog was almost inaudible and the idiotic crescendos of sound jammed into our ears every time some movie maker sensed a dramatic moment had to endured to be believed. Who would do that to a movie?

The endless jump scenes between a never-when followed by a never-was, were a pain. I don't have any problem doing up to 6 things at once but I don't see it as my job to pay the strictest attention in order to find out if the film maker is referring to moments in time divided by years and then returning to the past or leaping back into the future. The director obviously felt it was necessary for some reason to tell the story of two very different men in two very different times. Don't ask me why because it never really became that important in the movie.

All that said, once I got used to the idea that this was going to be a long drawn out endless almost inaudible movie featuring barely audible dialog with occasional sex and nudity, I got out my ipad and wandered back in time to follow up on the old VENONA files from the NSA and to have another look at the history and backgrounds of the major players. When I found myself some hours later reading about Traveling Wave Tubes, Klystron amplifiers and magnetrons I decided enough was enough.  Don't ask how atomic weapons developments roped me into another look into the development of radar.

I will say though that reading and rereading the basic information/biographic information about the people involved is kind of thought provoking. The people involved in the actual science and engineering were giants.

As far as the movie goes, this one ranks right down there with No Country for old Men; Pontification and awards out the ying-yang and really awful in presenting a story or technical merit.


And remember, we only do timely movie reviews here so stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

You'd have better off reading 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." Or rewatching Die Hard...

HMS Defiant said...

I had the book up until about 15 years ago. Never lend books.... When I heard it said that Feynman was in the movie I looked for him and of course only someone who had read the book or known the man would have recognized the bongo player at the party. He was a fascinating character.
I remember the first time I read it I was involved in Top Secret retention activities and reading about him breaking into the safes was interesting until somebody did it to the disbursing safe in the disbursing office when we were in the yards in Seattle. It was nice to know that my stuff was locked up in a locked radio room, locked inside a secure vault and each safe inside required a different combination.
On the gripping hand, many years later as a CMS custodian elsewhere I read the little pieces of paper that came with that safe with the 2 combinations and saw that it was this resistant to:
radiation penetration 10 minutes
cutting torch 15 minutes
lock manipulation 15 minutes.

I wasn't all that reassured but then we were nearly unique in being authorized to carry out premature destruction whenever we came back off operations, on account of the safes being crap.