I saw a couple of decent joints on the flight from LHR to SEA on Saturday. The first was the third X-Men movie, which was satisfying in the ways you'd expect it to be. I always think of that kind of movie as "Movies with Explosions". Sometimes you just want to see shit blow up. X-Men 3 is better than that, but certainly isn't Citizen Kane.
The second film was Word Play, which is about competitive crossword solving. This was a fantastic documentary centering around the annual Stamford crossword tournament organised by famed Times crossword editor Will Shortz and around famous people (Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, the Indigo Girls) who regularly solve said puzzle. It was bizarre (and a sad commentary on my life) that I kept seeing people I actually know at the crossword tournament (thedan, Kiran, and I'm pretty sure Eric Albert was there in all his porn-authoring glory).
It somehow manages to be incredibly funny (Jon Stewart vowing to fill in the puzzle in glue-stick to show how confident he is), touching (the story of the woman whose husband actually died at the tournament in the 80's, but who still comes back every year in his honour), and insightful (Clinton has an amazing riff on tackling problems that seem overwhelming at first, and Ken Burns is as eloquent as ever in his all-too-brief segments). It also features an ending that Hollywood couldn't have scripted better, a cast of supernerds (especially the daft woman from New York who does baton twirling in her spare time — classic Random Hall stylo) and some of the best editing I've seen in a while. Peep it. Seriously.
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