Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Le Doulos - 1962 - Dir. Melville

Apparently, the only time I watch French Crime films is just before they are taken off Netflix. But hey! I liked this a lot! At least, I like it the most out of all Melville films I've seen. And you know... at first, I REALLY didn't like it. I almost fell asleep twice in the first twenty minutes. It was just very slowly paced and I couldn't seem to follow what was going on. Then I guess... about halfway through, I still had no clue what anyone was trying to accomplish and I realized that it was intentional. It wasn't that the film was hard to follow, it was that facts weren't being revealed to me. I was being kept in the dark. It's done in such a neat way though! Because you're seeing all this action and exchanges taking place but the intention of the characters is never clear. I suppose the point of the movie is whether or not Belmondo is a scumbag. And the movie is good at making him seem like that (and he really is in some ways). But I guess, the movie just does a really expert job of keeping us in the dark but always making sure something we understand is going on and is being exciting. With all these kinds of movies, it can be a little overly talkie. It's noir-ish mood has an uneven success rate. But visually, it was really pretty bitching. I'm having fond memories thinking back to this one.
Oh look... It's Belmondo... And he's shot... AGAIN...

Shadows and Fog

Sunday, March 25, 2012

RoboCop 2 - 1990 - Dir. Kershner

I had basically written off RoboCop 2 because... well... It's RoboCop 2. There's no way it could even compete with the beloved first film. I knew what RoboCop 3 was like so I just figured it was more like that. But... you know... I had a really great time with this movie. It's... It's basically just like the first one except not as good. But REALLY... the movie take the exact same path. Same kind of conflict and villains. Similar tone. At times, it was a little surprising how closely they mirrored each other. If anything... there's less RoboCop... which is a good thing and a bad thing. It's a Bad Thing because the movie seems to get distracted by all the ridiculous/fun bullshit in it and then remembers there is supposed to be a Robotic Cop somewhere and they just toss him in. It's a Good Thing because RoboCop is a lot sillier in this one. In fact, it works best when they are making RoboCop jokes. I feel like the Sound Design had a little to do with it. RoboCop just SOUNDS less serious, less mechanical, less heavy, which makes his outfit look like plastic with a guy doing a funny walk in it. The best way I state this is like this: Kurtwood Smith's Boddicker is great... Perfect even... Tom Noonan's Cain? Sure, it's not as good. BUT HELL, let us not stick out noses up at Tom Noonan. He's pretty great too. Also there's that goofy murderous kid in it... who is such a piece of shit... I can't help but smile at that idea and how far they really run with it. OH MAN! And that Little League team... That made me laugh... It's just a silly-ass movie, you guys!
You tell that Dead Idiot who is boss, RoboCop 2!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ides of March - 2011 - Dir. Clooney

I remember being somewhat excited by the idea of this movie. Clooney runnin' for President. Gosling also doing something in the movie. The trailer hinted vaguely but repeatedly the usual dirty politic cliches. Despite being excited about a Clooney dirty politics movie, I was pretty sure the movie was going to be bland. Although... I don't think I expected the movie to be as bland as it was. The movie is pretty by the books despite having some neat ideas about the nature of a political campaign. The dehumanization of the candidate and projections put upon them by their campaign staff was an interesting suggestion but pretty underdeveloped so I don't imagine they cared to follow up on it. Strangely, I think I had some issues with Gosling, who I usually really like. His lack of warmth throughout the film makes it feel like we're just hitting the same note again and again. And since his character never seems like that great a dude, his "trial" in the film seems... uninteresting. And since the movie aims for a understated feel, resisting cinematically heightening events, there's a kind of reek of Unremarkableness throughout. It never gets the blood pumping, ya know? It feels like such a waste of talent considering the sweet cast they got. Everyone feels a little underused. Nah... Not feeling it.
That poster of Clooney is so goofy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Moneyball - 2011 - Dir. Miller

I read the script shortly after seeing the movie and I have to admit to liking the script a bit more than the movie OR the script reminded me of things in the movie I liked. So what I'm trying to say is that I feel unsure as to what my opinion of the film is. You know... I liked it. I was thoroughly entertained. I was interested. A fine time. But I suppose it didn't have that little extra oomph that I needed to really get excited about it. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge baseball fan. Or you know... I don't get into it. The movie certainly does a great job of getting me to care about baseball. Or at least, being interested in baseball. And Brad Pitt does a pretty great job. It's a good role for him, because you don't really need to like him, but you kind have to want him to win. And you do... because he is just kind of thoroughly shit on. And watching him throw all different kinds of stuff is delightful. But I think... a lot of that Brad Pitt business is hindsight. While I watching the movie, I dug Jonah Hill. He was just charming enough and a good counter balance to Pitt's bombastic bouts. So you know... I wasn't crazy about the movie... but I would definitely watch it again. And probably like it more the second time around.
Hoffman giving it 110%

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Patton - 1970 - Dir. Shaffner

I have to admit to not remembering very much about this movie as I write it. There's war in it. And Patton whips a rag tag army into shape... but he's a thorn in the governments side because he's mean and plays by his own rules. He's good at tanks. Germans lose. I dunno. I suppose, George C. Scott is real good in it. I think I ended up being fonder of Karl Malden though. I JUST WANTED TO SQUEEZE HIM!! I remember feeling like the movie was sort of challenging and really conventional at the same time. And kind of too bland to feel like I wanted to be challenged by it. I suppose I do like the idea of Patton's drive being to take part in the war. That in some way it is his destiny... It's an interesting aspect but I feel like the movie doesn't go much further with it. It seems much more interested having Patton come to grips with the higher ups and the bureaucracy of the war. Which, I suppose, IS more cinematic. I dunno. I just wasn't spurred by the film. The washed-out photography didn't help win me over either. Definitely feels like a Coppola script with all the wise-ass remarks. I dunno, I guess I'm not surprised at it being an American Classic...

Jack Goes Boating - 2010 - Dir. Hoffman

EH. You know... I dunno... I like Philip Seymour Hoffman and all. And I was curious to see what kind of movie he would make. But it kind of looked like a bummer from the trailer and not the kind of bummer I like! So I passed. It slipped into a "About to Get Taken Off Netflix Instant" viewing party. You know, probably my favorite thing about this movie is John Ortiz. He's real great! He's kind of the life of the movie too... It's a shame his whole arc with Rubin-Vega feels shoved aside for Hoffman and Ryan and Grizzly Bear montages. Or I dunno. Maybe that's all they could get out of the relationship. I dunno... I feel like maybe that's what this movie feels like... like they're trying to squeeze the most out of these characters and coming up and little short and left with little that feels inspired or interesting. I do like the visualization sequences, actually, those're pretty badass. I dunno, it doesn't feel Hoffman doesn't do poorly his first time out as director. And I have to admit to being a little bugged by all the Pitchfork indie rock music in it. I guess, it's okay... it's just so PRESENT. And I actually really like the music in the movie. It made me feel like I'd just rather listen to it on my own and go for a two hour walk or something.
Joat Goes Backing.

Toy Story 3 - 2010 - Dir. Unkrich

I had the bar set pretty high for this. In fact, it was set so high... I didn't even go see it. In fact, in some ways, I actively avoided seeing it. I knew... deep in my cowboy heart... that I expected it to make me cry, to crush my spirit, and to make me long for a childhood imagined by the previous two movies. So you know... I was sorta setting myself up for a let down. But I wasn't really. The movie was good. I enjoyed watching it... sure, it didn't destroy my emotions. At best, I got a little misty eyed... Maybe I shed a single tear? I can't remember. I'm writing this a month later. Point being, it's like every other Pixar movie I've seen. It's real great. It's got a nice, well told story. Some laughs. Some thrills (oh man! That ending was pretty dang thrilling!) And there's even a Totoro! How can you beat that!? The answer is YOU CAN'T!!! Also, lemme just say... that goofy little girl in the rain boots was adorable and any child I have who isn't like that will be an inherent disappointment. The best thing about this movie is that it doesn't feel like a cash in on the series. It wraps everything up in a nice way and has a nice mix of what's comfortable and what is fresh. It never really competed with my FAV's but hell... a nice solid entry.

Seraphim Falls - 2006 - Dir. Von Ancken

I feel like I look back on my viewing of this movie in a not particularly fond manner. I want to like it. I mean, two bad ass leads chasing each other through the wilderness with the revenge and whatnot. What could go wrong!? Everything, you friggin' idiot! Don't you know how hard these movies are to pull off!? It's really hard! And this one just doesn't cut the mustard. I don't care how god damn beautiful it is (It is pretty damn beautiful)! First of all, the movie sort of oversells Brosnan's badass-ness right away. The amount of insane survivalist shit he pulls in the first act is too ridiculous for the movie's tone. It doesn't help that it feels like it was directed in a somewhat blase manner. Neeson's consistent (dull) grimace matches the movie's restrained (dull) tone much more than Brosnan leaping out of a dead horse, which would be the high point for a better/goofier movie. It's attempts to be ponderous and interesting by the third act felt just tired and considering I wanted the film to be over at this point, were pretty unwelcome. I guess the movie just felt like it bit off more than it could chew. I'm all for ponderousness... but the movie couldn't hit that bar... and tried so hard that it washed away any thrilling or excitement that could have occurred.
Blornd, Jorms Blornd.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Zed and Two Noughts - 1985 - Dir. Greenaway

This movie blew the shit out of me! I had no shit in me for days after seeing this movie! No, I loved this movie. I'd never seen any Greenaway but heard of him an awful lot. I think netflix recommended the movie after I watched... I dunno... something weird with twins maybe. And I was all, hell, why not!? And then let the DVD sit around collecting dust. When I eventually, popped it in. Even from the opening credits sequence, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. So... in case anyone was wondering, this movie could probably be considered pretty pretentious, I suppose. Self-indulgent. Maybe doing too many things at once. There's all kinds of things you can complain about. But if you are me... It's fine. It talks about death and decay and amputees and art. And Car Crashes! It's lit beautifully. HELL, the whole fucking movie is beautiful. It's weird as hell. The acting is really restrained. Themes and motifs criss-cross and leap around the screen. There is so much going on! I most certainly plan to watch the movie several times. And the score is AWESOME! The first thing to stand out is the Time Lapse decay music, which is ridiculous. Oh man, and I got a kick out of the time lapse stuff. AUUUGHG!! The lighting is so crazy in this movie! Visually, the whole movie felt very theatrical. I just liked this thing so damn much.
Heaven is Men's Legs covered in Snails.

I Love You, Philip Morris - 2009 - Dir. Ficcara/Requa

It's a strangely produced movie. Without Carrey and McGregor's presence, the movie probably would have ended up as a slight more subdued indie, I suppose. A much more understandable beast in that context too. I mean, it makes sense why Big Names would want to get on board with this. It's High Concept with outrageous characters. McGregor's gentle southern boy/belle is simultaneously eye rolling and probably the best part of the movie. I think that's where I fall in my feelings... I felt like it was broad, aiming for the lowest common denominator, but I was entertained I suppose. It's nice to see Carrey being big as hell again and he's still real good at it. And you know, it's nice to see a movie that is just Sweet in some sense. Even if it's cheap and familiar. And yeah, despite the homosex and the prison and the con games, it's a pretty basic story. You know how things are going to go down. And in some sense, I feel like the Direction was plopping the camera down in the most reasonable place and tell the actors to be as big as they can. So, I can't say there's a ton of inspiration behind the scenes. In fact, I will tell you, the best thing the movie has going for it are the performances of the leads. Everything else... Meh!
Hey boys! Leave some room for me!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - 1966 - Dir. Leone

I think seeing this with the rest of the trilogy illuminated something for me. I think I like this one the least. I mean, let me just say that it's still miles ahead of most other westerns I've seen. It's great... It really is. But I feel like it has this epic scale and a polished feel that I'm just less about. I mean, it makes perfect sense to me that this is the more popular of the three. No question there. And MAN! That opening sequence is so good. It's a little bit like the HYPER-FAMOUS (sorta, I suppose, isn't it?) opening of Once Upon the Time in the West. Just tough, weird looking guys standing around (ONE OF THE WEIRD GUYS IS THE SAME WEIRD GUY!). Then shooting! Perfect! The first scene with Angel Eyes is also pretty awesome. Lee Van Cleef feels a little underused in the film, but that's mostly because it seems like the movie is more about Wallach and Eastwood and Van Cleef is just the one who keeps moving the plot forward. Leone described him as a robot or a banal professional and I think that's a pretty cool way of looking at him. And let's not fuck around here... Eastwood and Wallach charm the FUCKING pants off of me. The ending is awesome. I guess, I just feel like the movie is a little too long, a little too repetitive, but even the parts that are long and repatative are cool... It just makes for a movie that is too long and sprawling. Like I really want to like the Bridge sequence... Out of the context of the movie. It's an awesome sequence but squeezed into the third act? No, thank you! Anyway, my nitpicking aside. It's a great classic western. Don't be a jerk and not see it. Unless you don't like westerns. Then WHATEVER. Go watch the Voice or something. >:|
The Good, the Bad, and the Handsome! (Easiest joke)

Friday, February 17, 2012

For a Few Dollars More - 1965 - Dir. Leone

This is easily my favorite Spaghetti Western. EASILY. I'm trying to think of one I might like more... and I'm TOTALLY not coming up with anything. It's not perfect by any means and, in fact, kind of drags at points. I am thinking mostly about post-bank robbery. The movie kind of goofs around. But MAN, when that movie is on. It is so good. One particular sequence... the Hat shooting especially gets me. This time around, I noticed how friggin crazy the colors are. The surreal blues and reds on the town at night! AWESOME! And when you have a nutcase like El Indio running around. It only gets better. Gian Marie Volonte balances morose dude and psychopath like they were peanut butter and jelly! He's like the saddest fucking badass! Oh man! And the editing! It's so much fun! When there's that sequence of cuts of the Wanted Poster with bullet shots! That's so COOL! The film is also RIFE with Western style masculine posturing (see Hat shooting). Also, fucking Lee Van Cleef. Man. If there's anyone who could take the wind out of Eastwood's sails, it's The Cleefster. AND OH FUCKING SHIT. I almost forgot about the opening. You know... the one that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the story. And is just visually and aurally awesome. Nothing better to start your movie that the sounds of a guy hanging out. M I RITE U GUYZ!?
Disco Volonte!

Fistful of Dollars - 1964 - Dir. Leone

MAN! It'd been a pretty long time since I'd seen this last considering how much I liked it. BUT JEEZ! It's even better than I remembered. There are so many fun little details and the whole damn movie is just put together so neatly! And I forgot that it mirrors Yojimbo so closely until it started! OH MAN! AND THE CREDITS! And that whole mule speech... THAT FUCKING MULE SPEECH AND THEN CLINT EASTWOOD LOOKS REAL MAD AT ALL THOSE GUYS. HE LOOKS SO MAD. One thing that I think left a bigger impression on me was Gian Maria Volonte. Who I didn't realize was in this as well as A Few Dollars More (WHERE I FUCKING LOVE HIM). But he's just a great villain. He just looks like such a shitty guy! But in a handsome way. Like an Italian Liev Schriber pretending to be Mexican. You know? Anyway, I also remembered Yojimbo pretty recently, so it was fun to compare and contrast. So basically, I got a real big kick out of this movie. It's a little rough around the edges since it's before Leone really honed the style, but I feel like it's roughness is a lot of fun to watch and gives it a gritty feel the others don't have.
(Peter Lorre/Igor Noise)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Secret World of Arriety - 2010 - DIr. Yonebayashi

I liked this a lot! I wasn't sure if I was. I'm a Studio Ghibli fan, although to be honest I'm mostly just familiar with Miyazaki's work. But, you know, I figured it would be pretty good being Studio Ghibli but it totally surpassed my expectations. You know... it's not as blobby as some fine ass Miyazakis but Blobs ain't everything. The finer details of the Borrowers' world make the picture pretty damn engaging pretty damn quickly. The Sound work in the house is just the absolute best. You can HEAR the bigness. Like, you know, I felt like I was exploring a whole new goddamn world. So I was charmed is what I'm saying. The movie charmed my damn pants off. Most of the voice acting is real good in the English dub. Will Arnett's casting is especially amusing. And Carol Burnett KILLS as the goofy villain. Although she's hardly a villain, I suppose... Or she's not MUCH of a villain. Sometimes I would struggle with the boy... but I think the nature of his dialogue was more of a hindrance than the acting. Those kinds of lines never seem to translate very well into English and they're certainly not easy to pull off. The movie has a nice emotional core to it, if sometimes a little stilted. It made for a really enjoyable evening and I would definitely get down with it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Captain America: The First Avenger - 2011 - Dir. Johnston

Eh. It's okay. It certainly wasn't bad or make me feel like I was watching something dumb as hell. I suppose my bar can be kind of low for Superhero movies. I guess, I appreciate that the movie seems to put forth the effort to make us give a shit, giving us a nice hefty wad of back story. All that effort made for a pretty long movie but it seemed like a fair trade off. Skinny Chris Evans was pretty neat and it's fun seeing him get all tough and whatnot. Actually, that foot chase might have been one of my more favorite parts. I'll admit that the movie drags enough that I was glad that I could stop it when I wanted. So I'm kinda glad I missed it in theaters. Anyway, The movie was more than just a lot of jokes and posturing (Iron Man 2) with some shitty action thrown in. Sure, I mean, it's goofy. You know... Red Skull being in it and all. It was good of them to give us a nice dose of Hugo Weaving. I say... that's a good call. A perfectly fine Hugo Weaving hanging about, you don't wanna waste it with a ridiculous red skull. I have to admit being pretty supremely bothered by the last line and tone of the ending BUT WHATEVER. WHATEVER, CAPTAIN AMERICA.
Hugo Weaving (with Cube).

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trees Lounge - 1996 - Dir. Buscemi

Man... This movie. I dunno. First off, it bummed me out and not really in a way that felt good. Like... thinking about the ending just depresses the hell out of me. It's not like overly sad or anything, but it's just like... Man... C'mon, Steve... So you know... It's put together well. Which makes it especially impressive that Buscemi directed and wrote it. That guy is so good at doing all different kinds of things! That being said... Despite my admission that the film provoked an emotional reaction, I can't say I was a huge fan. I think partially I never really jibed with mid-ninties american indie dramas or what have you. I get kinda bored. And a lot of the time I think they're goofy. I dunno... Anthony LaPaglia as a mechanic and he's always arguing with Buscemi... it just seems silly to me. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table. It just does it's job really damn well. Chloe Sevigny is pretty great in it, though. But I think she's pretty great in a lot of things. Actually, the cast has a bunch of neat people in it! So that's a cool thing. So I can't exactly say I would want to watch it again, but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's all into 90's indies and whatnot. Or if you want to watch Steve Buscemi be real sad. And then creepy. OH MAN! And that Barfly pictured below... that fucking guy...

The Adventures of Tintin - 2011 - Dir. Spielberg

With all the people behind the camera for Tintin, I feel like I should have set a higher bar it but I went in expecting merely to be somewhat entertained. And I was. But I feel like it should have been more. I have no sense of the source material so I can't have any of that good 'ole fashioned nostalgia some people might have had. Getting right down to it the movie has one BITCHIN' action set piece. One that's pretty good. And then the rest of the movie is okay... I guess. It's not bad by any means. It's charming enough. I know people were kind of bugged by the style, but I got used to it. I understand why it's employed. It allowed it to be cartoon-y and feel like a live action adventure. Actually, there was quite a few bitchin' action sequences. I forgot about the flashback with the boats and whatnot. That was pretty awesome and made me wanna write a movie with pirates... which is not an urge I am used to having. Haddock is pretty amusing. I felt like he could have been annoying but it worked out fine! The ending felt a little sudden to me. Or rushed. But, being that I wasn't emotionally into the movie, I hardly feel like that's a big deal. The movie was supposed to give me some action-packed thrills and it did, but I feel like I should have been disappointed.

The Dirty Dozen - 1967 - Dir. Aldrich

It seems that I'm checkin' out some of the "American classics" that I've neglected. Not to be a dick by putting it in quotes or anything but you know... I feel like there were more Early Blockbusters than Classic works of American Cinema. Being that Cassavetes' appearance was more of draw than anything else. So yeah, I suppose I'll be the dick who puts American Classics in quotes. And you know, Cassavetes is his usual goofy ass self. It's sort of that same big budget high concept blockbuster we've all come to know and love. Ensemble cast, ridiculous premise. Super long. Telly Savalas ended up being probably one of my favorite parts of the movie. That guy is just a nut. This might have been my first Lee Marvin movie too and I can saw I was very impressed with the gentleman and see good things for him in the future. The movie is entertaining enough. Perhaps the slowest point is during the actual mission which devolves into a mass of explosions and characters dropping off the map like it's nobodies business. I have to say, I was surprised that the movie got as... not violent... I guess all the people burning to death seemed a little surprising... It's not like the movie is Inglorious Basterds or something!
Fuckin' love Ernie...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Goods - 2009 - Dir. Brennan

I just threw this shit on one night. It's one of those movies that would probably be straight to video if it didn't somehow attract a bunch of names to it. It's just one of those loud, crude comedies the kids seem to get such a kick out of these days. It's based around Jeremy Piven being a wise-ass loudmouth. Everyone else has the appropriate amount of quirks. James Brolin wants to have sex with David Koechner. Katheryn Hahn wants to have sex with a Man-Child. Ed Helms is in a Boy band. Basically the movie just works by repeating those jokes until 90 minutes passes. It's sad because I really do like the cast. There's no one in it that I don't think is fully capable of being hilarious but the script is just so broad, so obvious. Jokes are cheap and based on being outrageous and shocking. Even Piven, who seems pretty good at jazzing up lousy writing, flounders as the leading man. There's not nearly enough steam in the character to push through the movie. There's not nearly enough steam in any aspect of the movie to push it through, which I suppose is why it ends up resorting to being loud. But you know... I guess, I dunno. I like Loud. The sequence where everyone is just screaming is great. But I feel like the movie doesn't earn the Loudness. It's not a choice to the people who made it, it's the only thing they can think of.
The Goods staring Jeremy Piven's Face

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Towering Inferno - 1974 - Dir. Guillermin

Old 70's big budget adventure film spoke to me one drunken evening. And I got about half an hour into it. It took two more evenings before I finally managed to patch this motherfucker up. You know, we've basically perfected this kind of movie at this point but it's kind of fun to see one that is just getting used to wearing the pants of a modern day special effects thriller. I was pretty surprised at how willy-nilly it killed off its numerous characters. Much more immorally than perhaps they might get away with these days. So in a funny way, it felt a little fresh in that sense. Like, they hadn't yet come up with those hard and fast rules that are so infrequently broken. In some sense there is good reason for that. The movie does have stilted, nonsensical, and down right goofy moments. But I mean, it's a fun premise and all. Set up well. At times, it has these funny "If Only We Had All Obeyed Fire Safety Regulation" moments where it really seems like Steve McQueen is moments away from looking imploringly at the camera. The movie is long as hell, too. I watched it in enough chunks that perhaps I'm not the best person to speak of it's pacing apart from that I didn't want to watch it in one single sitting. Then again, it doesn't seem like the kind of movie that really needs to be watched in one sitting anyway. There were some exciting enough sequences. Enough cheesy moments and 1970's star power to make it well worth it. I mean, who would want to miss one of OJ Simpson's many brilliant roles pre-violent crime era!?
I fucking love this.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The American - 2010 - Dir. Corbijn

George Clooney goes to foreign land. The plot leisurely follows him. Doing stuff. It's all pretty good. Movie's over. That is what The American appeared to be and really that's what it ended up being. So all in all, the whole thing is okay. You know, I like watching George Clooney do stuff, like build a rifle in a small Italian village. I think he's real good at it. The movie looks real good. And the story is put together in a capable enough manner. There's not a lot for me to dislike. Sure, the movie doesn't really pull any new or exciting tricks out of it's hat or anything. In fact, it follows pretty closely to a normal thriller when you get right down to it but it's made well enough that I didn't mind the experience by the time it was over. A sorta fun aspect of the movie is that it spends a lot of time focusing on smaller details of the Village as Clooney methodically searches for escape routes, possibly betrayals, etc. And I would say it's the details that sell the movie. The movie didn't feel particularly thoughtful or anything but it relies more on visuals than dialogue though, so it doesn't feel like a dumb thriller or anything, but it doesn't dazzle by any means. So you know... if you wanna see George Clooney build a gun in a small Italian village, go for it!!
George Clooney being an Assassin.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Odd Man Out - 1947 - Dir. Reed

I'm at the point where I'll watch a Carol Reed movie just because it's a Carol Reed movie. I've yet to see one that didn't get my brains going or at least one that wasn't filled with just a ton of cool ideas about storytelling. Odd Man Out was no exception. At first, I think I struggled with it a little bit. It didn't seem all that interesting and had a strange tone. And it changes locations a lot, adding and taking away characters as it pleased. I was all... what's this movie about? But eventually, everything fell into place. Maybe this is a bit of wacky comparison, but it's a lot like an early Guy Ritchie movie. A lot of characters, plotlines, and goings ons. All of which based around James Mason being on the run. It's a deeper, of course, and less flashy. It's very concerned with ideas of... well, Ideas. Everyone has an belief of where James Mason needs to be and why he is important. So all of the shifting characters and focuses make the film feel sort of uneven and unfocused. But as the film ended, I found it incredibly satisfying. I felt like I had seem something new and different. Which is how I've felt with all of his film. And I just think that it is damn cool to feel that way about a movie that was made more than half a century ago. And also with such a heady basis, it's nice that the film also has a nice light-hearted streak. It makes room for some silliness amongst the ideals, especially with all of the vagabonds that are introduced.
Looks like the Odd Man Out is gettin' it ON!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Devils - 1971 - Dir. Russell

I saw it once in college and thought it seemed neat. I hadn't seem any of Ken Russell's stuff so I didn't really know what I was in for. A little slow and sometimes hard to follow. I left just feeling pretty confused but I really enjoyed the oddities that appeared throughout. But the film always sort of stuck with me. This time around, I stumbled upon the movie and threw it on to see if it still appealed to me. But this time around, I was completely blown away. This movie is so bonkers. So delightfully nuts all the while covering a serious topic still pertinent to this day. Sure, the dialogue might be a little rough to follow at times, but it felt worth it. And I like that the movie has a kind of expansive dialogue. It contrasts so well with the silliness of what is often going on visually. Vanessa Redgrave's performance is absolutely one of the best parts. I feel like the movie has the feeling of Trauma that has a tendency to win me over. Everything is so vivid, emotional, and violent. The film's strangeness is persistent but managed so well that it never changes the tone. We aren't pulled out of the universe of the film. I dunno, I just get damn kick out of the film. It's got all the elements I want and I feel like there's still stuff about the movie that makes me want to rewatch it. And it's not so burdensome that I would ACTUALLY be excited to see it again.
Nun In Thought

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Harry Brown - 2009 - Dir. Barber

I sort of accidentally watched this movie. Just sitting around one day, I popped it on. I mean, who doesn't wanna see Caine go all vigilante in his old age? But the results... MEH. The movie itself doesn't really bring anything new to the genre. Death Wish and all. But being that it's Michael Caine, you know? He's kind of the man... And I'm becoming a bigger and bigger Emily Mortimer fan... even though she's not really doing much in the film. Generic cop who is good but also on Caine's trail. She IS displaying a really bitchin' range, though. Oddly enough, I think I liked the movie more before Caine got all Death Wish on everyone. It's a little over the top especially when the quiet moments are done as well as they are. Like, the youth feel close to Schumacher style gangs. A hair's breadth away from Neon Pants and Make-up. They are so vulgar and awful... it sort of reduced the depth of the film. Rather than illustrating anything interesting morally about vigilantism or old age v. the youth, it's just Caine deciding to kill awful assholes and then trying to not getting caught. It's not all that interesting once you get past the performances. And I can't say I cared too much for the look of the film. Story telling, yes. Very nice. But the lightning and cinematography? FEH. I could feel how hard it was trying to be beautiful and poignant.
Michael Caine doesn't give a FUCK about the Sun exploding behind him.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hugo - 2011 - Dir. Scorsese

This movie charmed the pants off of me! I originally didn't care to see it. Had absolutely no interest in it. The Poster, the Trailer... I just didn't give a damn. I understood that the movie was basically filled to the brim is cinema talent and it seemed to be received really well. People were talking up the 3D too... so I gave in and paid the exorbitant fee to see the movie. It was worth it! Or at least... I couldn't have been happier with it. It's just a movie that makes you feel all nice and warm. It's really nice looking. Everyone does a real good job. I personally dug all animate/inanimate themes, gears, clocks, and film history appreciation. Finding your a purpose. And the post-war European-ness of it all. It was all great! Even Sacha Baron Cohen, a man who I am getting pretty close to sick of, won me over. If anything, I was surprised to have not liked Chloe Moretz as much as would have thought. Maybe I set the bar too high for the young lady, but most of the things I've seen her in, she's been pretty awesome. But hey, can't win 'em all... perhaps it was her role. Constantly chirping on about adventure. She had some lines that were just tough sells and often rang untrue. It's use of 3D was nice. Scorcese manages to sneak so many nice layers into it all. Smoke, snow. Rather than just depth, it added to the atmosphere. All in all, I had a great time. I mean, anytime you have a plot involving an automaton, I'll be willing to jump in.
Ace Butts and B Kings.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - 2011 - Dir. Bird

This movie just seals the deal: I think Brad Bird is great. As far as I'm concerned, it's pretty incidental that this is a Mission: Impossible movie. I don't think I needed more than the first one and certainly could hardly tell you about the rest of the series. I have the idea that I enjoyed the third one, but that has more to do with me insisting that Abrams made a good movie and not with any actual memories I have of the viewing experience. Anyway, this is all a long-winded way of saying I like the way the movie is directed. It's fun. The characters bounce around like cartoons. OR, if you will, like the fucking Incredibles. The movie is Thrilling, which I suppose is all I really wanted. It's a pretty dumb movie. Maybe the dumbest in the series (yes, dumber than the second). But it's a fun dumb. It's like a series of countdowns and incredible feats with minor or half-assed explanations. And then a lot of jokes. Some good jokes. I liked 'em a lot. Perhaps I would have liked to feel a little more emotionally involved... I didn't really care about what was going on. I didn't care about the villain. But I suppose the movie wasn't about Cruise getting the villain... it's about him and his friends doing incredible things. ALSO, there wasn't much of a build-up to the climax. I was surprised to learn I was in the climax of the movie. For a movie that's more than two hours long, that must mean its paced well but it also illustrates how distant I felt from the film. So I dunno, it's some top-notch action and goofiness, but it doesn't have much more going on apart from that. I guess the thing that makes it okay is that... well... it doesn't feel like they were aiming for much more.
Put some damn shoes on, ya hippie!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Duplicity - 2009 - Dir. Gilroy

So I liked Michael Clayton... thought it was a pretty neat movie. So I had reasonable hopes for Duplicity. I know it wasn't received as well and it didn't really look as good either but hey... I'd give it a shot... eventually. And it's okay. There's some funny ideas in it and it is a reasonably good time, I guess. It feels like its aiming a little low, a little too cheap, than it should have been by trying to be a "It's-A-Con-But-We're-All-Having-A-Good-Time" type movie. We've already got plenty of those. And being that the romance in the movie is one laced with betrayal and witty banter, it's not exactly romantic. And since a function of the movie is to just reveal how complicated the Con is, the movie boils down to witty people doing things we don't exactly understand. The thing is, I really like this movie on paper. I think it has great ideas and it handles them in a way that I'd get a kick out of. Just the execution feels insincere... it doesn't take it's plot seriously and the characters don't take themselves seriously, but despite all the not being serious, it still doesn't come off as fun. I suppose it's sort of mean... but that's not right. So I guess that's how it ends up feeling insincere. It feels like there's nothing to pull us into the movie.
Beautiful people... Loving one another...

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