Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (film)

A noon meeting with Pro4 at Reading to discuss a forthcoming client presentation, followed by an 'Upper Crust' egg roll at Reading station.

We walked down to the Reading Vue for the afternoon performance of The Adjustment Bureau. Based on a typically-paranoid Philip K. Dick story, this well-made film has Matt Damon's senator meeting the love of his life, Emily Blunt's Elise and then discovering that a mysterious organisation is set to keep them apart. The rest of the film showcases The Adjustment Bureau deploying threats and lies over the course of several years while Damon's character never quite succeeds in forgetting her.

Elise is classy-English, a talented modern ballet dancer who portrays realistic chemistry with senator Jason Bourne (oops, did I just say that? Does he always play the same character (except in True Grit)?). We spend a lot of time with Adjustment Bureau operatives as they deliver portentious lecture to the hapless senator ("Stay on the Plan, or else!"). We also spend a while at the end of the film being chased around New York.

The thing which makes this film shallow and disposable is the extraordinary banality of the plot. Ignore that it's far-fetched - of course it's far-fetched. But why, for God's sake, couldn't this alien Adjustment Bureau be more interesting than simply a bunch of grey-suited overseers poking and prodding to keep us from harm. This in loco parentis thing is just so wearysome.

The verdict: I was mildy diverted while Clare said it was 'tedious tosh'.

In the evening we were joined by Alex (after another hard day's programming) for a meal at a Nepalese restaurant in the Cavendish Road. I was starving and was well into my Chilli Chicken before realising just how lethally hot it was; Alex commented similarly on his Korma.

Back home in Wells, Clare was up in the pre-dawn looking for a pain-killer for a 'funny head' while I was feeling uncomfortably full this morning. My suspicion is that we had way too much salt and MSG last night. No doubt that's how the Reading natives like it.

My article on the search for supersymmetry at the LHC has been accepted at I'll let you know when it's published.