Jonathan Poritsky

Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is great, but that doesn’t mean I was wholly blown away by it. Sparse lan­guage and stark apoc­a­lyp­tic land­scapes aren’t exactly new ter­ri­tory, and that sort of stuff doesn’t exactly get my noo­dle going. It’s a par­lor trick of sorts that Mr. McCarthy has pulled off grace­fully. The plot and style are sim­i­lar to any comic book or pulp novel or B-movie from a bygone era, but the author has imbued this thin palate with a lit­er­ary cog­nizance that raises story out of the muck and grime of a post-apocalyptic landscape.

The story fol­lows a man and a boy walk­ing down a road, search­ing for sus­te­nance and dodg­ing evil-doers, after the end of days. How and why the earth has been scorched into obliv­ion is never explained because it doesn’t need to be. Mr. McCarthy has kept as much infor­ma­tion out of the story as pos­si­ble, even going so far as to do away with con­trac­tions and other for­mat­ting niceties, like quo­ta­tions marks or chap­ters. The mes­sage is clear: show only what is needed, noth­ing more. I’ll fol­low suit, and offer you noth­ing more of the plot, it would ruin the expe­ri­ence of read­ing it.

According to IMDb, Mr. McCarthy’s books have been adapted into four films so far, includ­ing last year’s Best Picture win­ner No Country For Old Men. The Road rep­re­sents one of three more films com­ing out adapted from his work. I doubt the film will be very good, but it’s obvi­ous why it would be made. The novel’s stripped down nature reads just like a screen­play. Action, action, dia­logue, scene. This for­mula lent itself extremely well to No Country, which fol­lows the book almost to the letter.

But this book is very dif­fer­ent. There is no chase. There is noth­ing to strive for. Ultimately, there seems to be no rea­son to live in this non-world that the author has drawn up for us, which is why this book has mys­ti­fied read­ers since its release. Is it a great read? Yes. Is it any­thing more than that? No. Do I rec­om­mend it? Hell yes.

Leftover Movie Reviews from 2008

In 2008, I had trou­ble get­ting my A in G when it came to pub­lish­ing to this blog. I toiled over a few movie reviews for so long that I never ended up pub­lish­ing them. I’m hav­ing the same issue now, with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire reviews still mar­i­nat­ing in my “Drafts” folder. Anyhow, I was try­ing to clean up the hard drive when I stum­bled upon some of my unfin­ished mas­ter­pieces. There are too many reviews to write for movies that are fresh in my mind now, so I sup­pose it would be futile try­ing to com­plete these lit­tle nuggets. However, it would be just as dumb to keep them to myself. So here you go, my unfin­ished and unedited thoughts on 6 films from 2008. Read on…

Review: Twilight

TwilightCatherine Hardwicke no doubt set out to make a gritty drama of teen angst set against the back­drop of the dreary Pacific Northwest, but a few weeks prior to shoot­ing, a pro­ducer must have handed her a script for “Twilight” and said make this instead. The first screen adap­ta­tion of Stephanie Meyer’s best­selling roman­tic vam­pire series is like a cheap wine look­ing for a bot­tle, which is really a shame because I would surely lap it up if only served prop­erly. Targeted at teenage girls, it would seem my age and gen­der pre­clude me from this dis­cus­sion, how­ever I believe that young women are yearn­ing for much more from their hero­ines, so let’s get started with the nit pick­i­ness. Read on…

Got a New Camera, Made a Tiny Movie

SHOT!DEAD from Jonathan Poritsky on Vimeo.
I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out how to use my Nikon D90 for video. It’s another par­a­digm shift that involves a steep learn­ing curve, but mark my words kids: Nikon started the rev­o­lu­tion. Jim Jannard, while you may be bring­ing fire to the peo­ple in the know, Nikon has deliv­ered to the peo­ple who don’t, and that is what mat­ters. Canon will have to com­pete, which means so will Sony, and so will you, RED. It can only get bet­ter from here, so let’s see where it takes us.

Review: Pineapple Express

It had to hap­pen some­time. As much as I had hoped to stave it off for as long as pos­si­ble, the day had to come when I would leave a Judd Apatow pro­duc­tion utterly dis­sat­is­fied. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” nearly did me in, but fur­ther rumi­na­tion on the film showed a real mat­u­ra­tion hap­pen­ing in the cabal of dirty lit­tle boys that sur­round the Hollywood com­edy mag­nate. Too bad that the pro­gres­sion toward a bet­ter kind of toi­let humor didn’t make it’s way into the teams lat­est, and arguably most antic­i­pated, “Pineapple Express”.
Read on…