The Quiet Earth is about a guy who wakes up one morning and discovers that there's no one else around. It turns out that he is in New Zealand, so mystery solved. Except not quite, because even in New Zealand there are supposed to be a few people. It also turns out that this guy is a scientist who was involved with a project that may be responsible for the disappearance. In any case, he's always wanted to have time to just sit alone and read, so he's actually pretty happy about things, except then, irony of ironies — he breaks his glasses!

Wait, that was a "Twilight Zone" episode. And so is this, really. It's got about the same level of depth, the same sort of acting ability on display, the same sort of plot structure, right down to the twist ending... which, I later learned, appears on the movie's posters. Another triumph by the geniuses in marketing.

I've also recently watched a couple of movies Jen was watching. One was Office Space, which I had seen when it came out in '99. It held up pretty well. I wonder whether it has ever actually prompted anyone to change his or her life à la the lead character. Among the comedy there are a couple of reasonably incisive speeches about the inanity of corporate life and how this is no way to spend one's few years on this planet and suchlike, but I imagine that people tend to just nod and say, "Yup, that's true" and then proceed to do absolutely nothing about it.

I also finally saw Princess Mononoke. I say "finally" not because I'd been eagerly looking forward to it, but because it was the first movie I saw with Jen back in '99, only not really, because I'd suffered a bout of insomnia the night before and it was an early matinee so I was actually awake for all of about ten minutes of the movie. Really, just enough to hear Claire Danes say, "I hate all humans." This time around I only intended to stick around long enough to hear her say that line again, but as it turns out she says it at the end so I figured I might as well watch the last few minutes as well. It was actually not bad, stilted dialogue aside. (I had to giggle at the mention on IMDb that "dialogue was paraphrased into comfortable American English.") The backgrounds in particular were very well-done. I also have to believe that there's a paper waiting to be written, if it hasn't been already, about the vocal casting — a drawling Southern voice for the unsavory clown, a British one for the ice queen, a black one for the ex-prostitute. No wonder Kenneth Clark died a bitter man.

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