7.31.2011

My Month in Review: July '11

La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc)
Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928
In my travels through earlier cinema, I cannot recall before being quite this captivated - or moved - by a silent film. And when I say "silent" I mean that, just as Kalatozov's "The Nail in the Boot" did, "The Passion of Joan of Arc" came to me completely free of any form of soundtrack, so there was not even a background score. It didn't need any (tempted as I was to accompany its finale with Pat Benatar's "Invincible"). Dreyer's predominantly close-up compositions define cinema's explicitly visual elements, his camerawork otherwise inventive, utterly affecting and wrought with Falconetti's barely fathomable, powerfully crude emotion (those eyes!). At times it's almost too much to take all at once.


Hannah & Her Sisters
Woody Allen, 1986
"Hannah & Her Sisters" has just about everything you could come to want from a Woody Allen film in all its best forms and proper doses. Is it already my favorite of the twenty-two I've now seen from the man? Too soon to tell, but it's a close contender.

Skin Game
Paul Bogart & Gordon Douglas, 1971
It's rare I discover a film I don't find notable for many of its technical or artistic aspects yet love just because it tells a great story. Typically story is secondary and I'll like just about any tale so long as it's told in an admirable manner. Otherwise we're probably talking about television sit-coms (incidentally, Paul Bogart did work primarily in television). Anyway, "Skin Game" indeed tells a very good story - one that captivated me in its opening moments and thoroughly entertained throughout, ranging from poignant social drama to sharply riotous sketch comedy. Incidentally, after a few brief test-runs with other titles this is the first full movie I streamed via Netflix Instant Watch to my Nintendo 3DS. Considering the handheld's capabilities, I found the video and sound quality perfectly acceptable - a good way to watch a movie on the go!

Sayat Nova
Sergei Parajanov, 1968
AKA "The Color of Pomegranates". Personal identity. Cultural, inherited, personal, social. Free? Obligatory? Happy? Miserable? I can't pretend to immediately comprehend each of Parajanov's cryptic scenarios, but these stunted observations and queries sum up my interpretation of the auteur's best-known piece, which I am taking to be a impressionistically reflexive look through one man's journey across this mysterious life. Whatever the meaning, far more pertinent (to the point that potential meanings are practically rendered meaningless) is the beauty presented to the eye in this splendidly surreal series of essentially moving images.

The Return of Captain Invincible
Philipe Mora, 1984
It could just be all the Woody I've been watching, but this irreverent Australian rollick does often feel like what Allen's version of a superhero film would be. Alan Arkin is great as the hero whose kryptonite is alcoholism, Christopher Lee is Christopher Lee (with a great bit involving his "pets" and his signature booming voice highlighted to the extreme), the 2.35:1 scope is utilized involvingly, and just when you might think the schtick is wearing thin, a surprising (and surprisingly competent) musical number such as "Evil Midnight" or the particularly riveting "Name Your Poison" (video of the latter below) jolts your butt firmly back into its seat.

Tini zabutykh predkiv (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors)
Sergei Parajanov, 1964
AKA "The Horses of Fire". I love a lot of what Parajanov has done here. I really do. This film is an absolute beauty to behold and several sequences, particularly that of the opening ten minutes or so, may even surpass the best moments of "The Color of Pomegranates" and "The Hoary Legends of the Caucasus" (thoughts on that one below) with their dizzyingly mystifying camerawork, lovely colors and emotional resonance. I just wish it was more consistent! The times I was not mesmerized I was simply bored by dullness. But hey, overall, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" is exceptional gorgeosity made celluloid.

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
Woody Allen, 1982
Éric Rohmer meets William Shakespeare... by Woody Allen? Woody's masterful sense for social nuance - particularly that that extends beyond the camera's frame and between the script's lines - and hints of his early "formless comedy" days make for a delightfully funny and affecting romp through love, lust, elegance and savagery.

Hobo with a Shotgun
Jason Eisener, 2011
Way to go, Eisener! This guy, from his original "Hobo" trailer that made it into the "Grindhouse" double-feature - alongside Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright and Eli Roth - and the short film phenomenon "Treevenge", is an inspiration and "Hobo with a Shotgun" is far and away his best work yet, perhaps even topping Quentin Tarantino's "Grindhouse" installment, "Death Proof", by coming off more authentic in its recreation of a dead wave of exploitation (in this case, Troma splatter-fests). Due to a handful of minor hitches including, but not limited to, weak villain characterization and awkward morality (a would-be motivational, should-be satirical declaration that preventing street crime is like housekeeping for homeless people) it's not quite a home run (tough to hit 'em over the Green Monster when your bat's covered in razor blades, I s'pose) but I'll be damned if it ain't a certifiably great and utterly twisted time with an absolutely killer aesthetic, both aural and visual. And yeah, Rutger Hauer is fantastic.

Alice
Woody Allen, 1990
Some of Woody's finest moving images I've yet been treated to, with quite a charming everything else. The flying lesson with Alec Baldwin is a bit much but we'll gladly let that slide, won't we? It's difficult to rank some of these Woodys against one another seeing as, for the most part, they're all so good for such similar reasons.

Shadows & Fog
Woody Allen, 1991
Woody beautifully emulates early 1930s thrillers - most notably to my own recognition, Fritz Lang's "M" - simultaneously honoring and using them as a playground for his own risibly farcical inventions - so much so that what would be one of those films' central plots humorously proves a MacGuffin, giving way to a roundabout of similarly, purposefully futile character and relationship portraits. Blink and you'll miss a pre-notoriety John C. Reilly amongst the fabulous ensemble.

Husbands & Wives
Woody Allen, 1992
Filmed in a documentary style now popular in television sit-coms such as "The Office" (though most recognizable to me in this regard, due to its far more dramatic implementation, from the psychological profile segments of the "Scrubs" episode "My Bed Banter & Beyond"), this coincidence of Woody's personal and professional lives opens with a phenomenal extended take that rockets it forth on great trajectory. While it comes close with many indelible moments, it never quite fulfills that trajectory and by the time Woody's character spoke his final line it felt perfectly appropriate as I was indeed anxious to leave, but this was only due in small part to my lack of emotional connection with the technically impressive film - I also wanted to get away from the characters, who were so successfully uncomfortable to deal with. As I continue wrestling toward a finite opinion as I am doing now through these typed words, I am sure to look back on "Husbands and Wives" with little but compliment.


Further first-time viewings:

Gong fu guan lan (Kung Fu Dunk) - Kevin Chu Yen-ping, 2008
Goofy as all get-out and loads of kung fu fun on the court. American action hopes to be this good.

Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen) - Andrew Lau Wai-keung, 2010
So vibrant and vivid I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. And as if I needed further proof Donnie Yen is the man! Qi Shu is fantastically bubbly. The characterization of the Japanese is rigid, but so it goes. I might do well to give "Ip Man" another shot (a proper one, this time)... not all modern martial arts films have to be "Dragon Tiger Gate".

Hollywood Ending - Woody Allen, 2002
From overt characterizations down to how certain scenes are lit, "Hollywood Ending" is a critique of American film business so harsh it almost makes me want to stop caring about weekend box office tallies, accompanied by sudden blindness as a witty dual metaphor and your typical - yet never old - Woody humor. This was the first "new" Woody Allen film I became aware of at the time of its release. I remember seeing trailers for it in Miami's Sunset Place AMC in 2002. It wound up as one I was intrigued by but never caught, so it's nice to finally have caught it now.

Ashik Kerib - Sergei Parajanov, 1988
AKA "The Hoary Legends of the Caucasus". I'm still determining exactly what to make of my first Parajanov (incidentally, Parajanov's last complete Parajanov). I love much of the soundtrack, the employment of the tableau vivant style I've come to enjoy through Peter Brosens' films and the overall sense of decidedly strange legend, but while throughout those elements there is a pleasing, if erratic, aesthetic in place, the tonal leaps and frequent interpretive dance sequences tend to buck me. The film's relative favor here mainly reflects its unwaveringly superb third act (talk about your final shots, wow).

Le frisson des vampires (Shiver of the Vampires) - Jean Rollin, 1971
AKA "Strange Things Happen at Night". Sex, fangs and rock 'n' roll! So gothic!

Manhattan - Woody Allen, 1979
This is going to go down as one of those I greatly respect for its form - particularly its cinematography - but don't really enjoy outside of its throwaway laughs, isn't it?

Manhattan Murder Mystery - Woody Allen, 1993
Is it mere coincidence that the opening few scenes of Woody's first post-Mia Farrow film are highly reminiscent of "Rosemary's Baby"? Probably. "Manhattan Murder Mystery", an absurd ode to noir, is entertaining from start to finish and often very funny, but for all its build in place of what might have been a more interesting deconstruction it doesn't wind up amounting to much. Lesser Woody is still Woody.

Wild Man Blues - Barbara Kopple, 1997
Just when I thought Woody's films were making me feel I don't listen to enough classic New Orleans jazz, I have Woody himself honking on the clarinet (a hobby I only just recently learned he pursues) and delivering between-show self-deprecation as only he can. It is interesting to glimpse the Soon-Yi Previn relationship.

Horrible Bosses - Seth Gordon, 2011
Is that "how you like me now" song in every movie these days? Anyway, "Horrible Bosses" is a lot more consistent than the other comedies we've been fed this summer. It may not quite reach the relative levels of funny certain moments of those others do, but it's a good (and thankfully, unexpectedly unpredictable) time throughout where, for example, "Bad Teacher" is only fun for about 45 minutes before screeching to a halt (though it is odd that these guys don't seem to have to go in for shifts at work for however many days it takes them to attempt pulling off a triple murder). Still, in a grander scope, this is just an average comedy that gets by mostly due to its cast (and, to be fair, I suppose, the fact that it manages to make the notion of an intent to kill humorous). Charlie Day (join me in watching this guy's star rise), Jason Sudeikis (say it like you're the "Saturday Night Live" announcer... come on, it's so fun) and Jason Bateman (I got nothin'... he's funny) do their respective tried-and-true schticks as Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and my man Colin Farrell have a bit of fun either playing somewhat against type or parodying former roles and reputations alongside a handful of fun cameos and bit parts. Aniston doesn't really take to her character's crude sex talk too well but she is more super-smokin' than ever and sometimes - at least on this level of super-smokin'-ness - that counts. Finally we have Jamie Foxx in an almost token bit part with what could wind up the year's greatest character name: Motherfucker Jones.

Princess Ka'iulani - Marc Forby, 2009
It's nice to see the lovely Q'orianka Kilcher back on the screen. She is again exemplary in this good-looking and overall above-average biopic.

Rubber - Quentin Dupieux, 2010
It's a credit to Dupieux' cinematography that I'd've gladly watched a film solely following the silent central tire's rolling exploits (I've kind of been on a "this movie would be better without dialogue" kick anyway). The fourth wall-obliterating human contingent does make matters far more accessible though I'm not sure the over-obviousness is entirely necessary. Why? No reason.

Captain America: The First Avenger - Joe Johnston, 2011
It's one country's ideal propaganda piece pitted against the disgraced former hero of another. Sort of. "Captain America" prospers in its developmental half, as a scrawny Steve Rogers makes his way to becoming the man he's always dreamed he could be, but pulls a "300" and goes into an uninvolving montage mode once the full transformation has taken place. Thankfully the humor works, the 1942 aesthetic serves the material extremely well and this is more than just a connecting piece to "The Avengers" - the connectors that are in place exist subtly (well, as subtle as they can within a Marvel product). And hey, David Bradley. The politics, however, make no sense. Okay, Red Skull has fallen from Hitler's graces because he no longer fits the Aryan mold (not a great excuse, seeing as Goebbels was scrawny and dark-haired and still Hitler's right-hand man...) but he's given parting gifts of seemingly limitless funds, his own badass army and an endless supply of secret hideouts? Anyway. In the end, it's an enjoyable superhero flick. Hear further thoughts as part of the July 24th episode of Reel Time.

The Pirate - Vincente Minnelli, 1948
For the most part it feels like something "The Dueling Cavalier" from "Singin' in the Rain" might have been only halfway through its transition into "The Dancing Cavalier" (and its content often foretells that of Don Lockwood's superior exploits), but is easily passable on Gene Kelly's endless charisma and a visibly intensified performance from Judy Garland.

TRON: Legacy - Joseph Kosinski, 2010
Though it had me worried for a while there, thankfully "TRON: Legacy" avoids the much-traveled path of an interesting concept gone to waste 'neath a trite good-versus-evil yarn, however the story never quite reaches a state of importance. The real stars here are the aesthetics - this is one groovy look 'n' listener with a relaxingly droning pace.

Monsters - Gareth Edwards, 2010
A fairly entertaining... immigration allegory? Okay, then.

Friends with Benefits - Will Gluck, 2011
Okay, seriously this time, is that "how you like me now" song in everything?? This newest friends with benefits movie (with the most creative title yet, eh?) doesn't have much to go on apart from decent eye candy for folks of any persuasion and plenty of lurid dialogue and borderline pornographic acts that will wind up in those folks' respective spank banks. It's got a few good belly laughs but nine out of every ten punchlines fall dead flat (and two jokes about the inside of Justin Timberlake's butt are two too many). There's a surprising and emotional subplot involving a father character played by Richard Jenkins but it goes absolutely nowhere, adding little to the main story. I'm trying to make heads or tails of how the flick predictably lambastes run-of-the-mill romantic comedies in its first half before, about as predictably, justifying them in its second. Oddly, that proudly formula-inspired second half, where I realized the two "Friends" had sneakily grown on me as a couple, is what makes the whole thing break even by the end. Whatever the case, the best parts are the supporting roles and cameos, particularly those of Jason Segel, Rashida Jones and the underutilized Woody Harrelson. Wow, I've actually seen all three of Will Gluck's directorial feature films thus far. I feel so accomplished. Hear further thoughts as part of the July 24th episode of Reel Time.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Alan Metter, 1985
When discussing cheesy teen movies from the '80s, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is certainly one of the more rightfully culpable I've seen. Once the dance competition is underway, however, the fun side of the cheese takes over. Sarah Jessica Parker is super cute here (I don't care what "South Park" says, she's still pretty foxy today, too) and Helen Hunt... well, she hadn't quite grown in to her features yet.

Southland Tales - Richard Kelly, 2006
So is this more what that film I dislike so much I don't like saying its name (we'll just go with "D Squared") would have been like had the alleged alien (sub?)plot remained intact? In this case I do have big respect for what Richard Kelly is attempting to accomplish - the man clearly has a bold vision - but in this apparently unrestrained and unfiltered form it's a preposterous mess with too many briefly skirted ideas. I'm sure Kelly is passionate about each detail but some should have been left out considering their inconsequence that ultimately distracts from the core. Conversely, some of "Southland Tales" is so utterly strange and catching - the musical elements, specifically - that I almost want to like it.

The Inspector General - Henry Koster, 1949
Danny Kaye charms, of course. While that's not quite enough with all else being so flat, it's at least fuel for average entertainment.

Django - Sergio Corbucci, 1966
Cool enough for its dynamic moments and above-average in the realm of non-Leone spaghetti westerns. Nowhere near as good as Corbucci's Terence Hill-starring "Super Snooper" (AKA "Super Fuzz").

The Jezebels - Jack Hill, 1975
AKA "The Switchblade Sisters". Easily the best chick-gang flick I've seen, which is neither a great achievement nor a surprise coming from "Coffy" director Jack Hill (his competition in this case primarily being Al Adamson and Herschel Gordon Lewis). Just like other chick-gang flicks, though, it just doesn't hold the attention beyond a few of its better written scenes (the kinds one might imagine Tarantino pleasuring himself to).

Insidious - James Wan, 2010
(NOTE: Why I temporarily thought James Wan was Oren Peli as I wrote what follows, I have no idea. I think I got mixed up, what with "Paranormal Activity" having crushed "Saw" before "Insidious" crushed "Scream". Sorry... just run with it). The adjective "insidious" is defined, "proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects." So, cancer is insidious. Fitting, as the film "Insidious" - from the man behind the abominable yet miraculously genre-commoving "Paranormal Activity" - being accurately hailed as one of the best of its kind in recent years truly signals the dearth of horror we've seen in as much time. "Insidious" harkens (occasionally through direct homage) in an even less aesthetically pleasing manner - that, unsurprisingly like "Paranormal Activity", highlights surveillance - to late 1970s, early '80s films such as "The Amityville Horror", "Poltergeist" and, most noticeably (though thankfully sans anti-scary electric guitar stabs), "The Entity" starring Barbara Hershey, who this film also features in what may or may not be coincidence. It is moderately scary, but should we rate horror based on scares? I recall just two months ago when so many labeled "The Hangover Part II" a bad movie but then more enthusiastically praised it for its laughs. Is this the same reaction in a different genre? Well, if one thing can be praised here, it's the score. Creeptacular strings! Can't save Rose Byrne's Lifetime Network-worthy performance or that awful ending, though, and I could do with fewer jumps. It's effectively eerie as is; we don't need so many startles to formulaically pay off a build and subsequently provide the comforting notion that everything's okay because the scary bit's over (even if that false calm is priming us for another startle) - let the mood persist! I should get my hands on a copy of "The Fourth Kind". Now there's a good contemporary horror movie!

Anything Else - Woody Allen, 2003
What was that I said about lesser Woody? Hm. "Anything Else" isn't painful just to look at (in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio rarely seen from Woody), but it sure is painful to watch, if that distinction is clear when considering Jason Biggs' and Christina Ricci's "performances". These two leads absolutely butcher the script, which is a far cry from the auteur's stronger efforts I've seen thus far anyhow what with, among other aspects, its apparent justifications of otherwise lambasted "pseudo-intellectuals" and its diffidently from-the-hip uses of psychoanalysis scenes, out-of-body soliloquy and talking-to-the-camera moments.

Slacker - Richard Linklater, 1991
Well, this is definitely from the same guy that made the excellently meditative and not so grossly verbose "It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books" and would segue in to making such similar yet superiorly profound works as "Waking Life" but without the emotional connection he would add to similar material with "Before Sunrise", it just kind of flops around on deck, hoping to get tossed back out of mercy.

Despicable Me - Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud, 2010
To get the obvious comparison out of the way, this is certainly no "Megamind". It is, however, an adequately amusing - if forgettable - jaunt. I think its main problem is that it never quite formulates into anything more than a series of celebrity-voice-assisted chuckles. To its credit it has helped turn me more positively toward computer animation as a respectable process for feature films in general. Of course since its release date I've adored "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children" and it has remained the key exception to my aversion what with most other computer animated offerings being at the disadvantage of having to be "family friendly" but with how much I enjoyed "Megamind" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and appreciated this one's character design aspects, I don't think I'll be quite so prejudice in the future.

Cowboys & Aliens - Jon Favreau, 2011
The opening scene of "Cowboys & Aliens" is stark (Favreau pun unintended), employs minimal dialogue and sets our story off with promise. Then the second scene begins a dumping of frivolous supporters and their various relationships so continuous it's never done justice within its two hours up against a quarter-assed story (not good enough to be half-assed) about ruthless extraterrestrials inexplicably participating in the Gold Rush. I'm sure these intricacies work far better in their source comic - a medium perfectly fit for building rich character histories. There is in this adaptation an obvious novelty to the fusion of old west and sci-fi (on a bigger budget than the great "Adventures of Brisco County Jr.") but it only goes so far before revealing itself as an action cliche drinking game - take a swig whenever someone miraculously appears with a kill shot in the knick of time. Hear further thoughts as part of the July 31st episode of Reel Time.

Enter the Void - Gaspar Noé, 2009
There's a lot to be said for the alternate depictions of sex - as life-defining, a commodity of pleasure and even a multifunctional social tool - but what is ultimately just an okay screensaver does not make for a more-than-just-okay movie, particularly when you factor in crap dialogue and cliché scenarios. Because you think you're so clever to take these scenarios on from a different perspective does not make you worthwhile, it puts you on a rung somewhere near ol' "D Squared" (see thoughts on "Southland Tales" above). To be fair, there is at least one shot that will stay with me, but if you really want to watch a great post-death, pre-reincarnation story (albeit still another that oddly depicts the beginning of consciousness as the moment of birth), check out Peter Brosens' masterful "State of Dogs".

Crazy, Stupid, Love. - Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, 2011
What is a dull drone of nothingness kept afloat by a few chuckles surrounded by seemingly obligatory post-"Hangover" crudity finally begins to click in act three... before crumbling right back down and becoming even worse than it was before. Useless plot developments, tone juggling, anemic character motivation and sheer contrivance drive this one straight into the ground. I'm hard-pressed to think of another film that forces so hard for a happy ending. It's bad enough when at the end of any Marc Lawrence comedy Hugh Grant can show up with a bouquet and all's hunky-dory. Here we have an entire film based on groundless conflict slowly spiraling into a sensible series of downer endings only to make way for a vexingly rosy epilogue. Hear further thoughts as part of the July 31st episode of Reel Time.

How to Train Your Dragon - Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders, 2010
How to gauge the value of a film with only one passable aspect when that one aspect is so bright? Between somewhat below-par animation and a story that builds to a nonsensical and undermining climax, all that makes "How to Train Your Dragon" worth sitting through is the very feline central dragon himself - a character with no proper dialogue who vastly outshines all his surrounding blabbermouths, forming an immediate emotional connection with the audience strong enough that I wish I didn't have to declare everything else so ignoble. This seems to be happening often with computer animated family films of late. "Rango", "Toy Story 3" and, to a lesser extent, "Up", all feature only brief segments of valuable substance with remainders constructed of re-hashed kiddie hijinks.

Sherlock Holmes - Guy Ritchie, 2009
Isn't it a bit contradictory for a Holmes film to be so accessibly dumb; or, more specifically, for it to lack all faith in its audience's intelligence? This rebranding is basically a buddy James Bond set in Victorian England with Robert Downey Jr. yet again playing himself, only this time with a British twang. Positives are a few minor giggles and Hans Zimmer's sprightly score (accompanied at one point by The Dubliner's rendition of the classic Irish jig "The Rocky Road to Dublin").

Picture Perfect - Glenn Gordon Caron, 1997
A generic exercise in the most generic of genericness. I'd like to think Hollywood's movie assembly robots have improved since, but I can't be sure.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Michael Bay, 2011
Thank goodness, I guess, that this time there's a little more motivation on each side of the "Transformers" battle than "the colorful robots are good and the dark robots are bad so they're gonna fight". Still, two hours is a whole hell of a lot of time to spend on exposition aimed simply to excuse a closing act of mechanical action, most of which is difficult to make out. I hope I've heard Shia LaBeouf scream "Optimus!!" for the final time. Read the full review.

Scream 3 - Wes Craven, 2000
Watching these movies is like getting Jack in the Box when you ordered McDonalds but actually wanted Whataburger.





Total first-time viewings: 44

Rewatches (4 total): Hannah & Her Sisters (Allen, 1986), Match Point (Allen, 2005), Bucktown (Marks, 1975), The Crow (Proyas, 1994)

-I've seen "Match Point" so many times now that it's starting to wear thin, but it's still full of super goodness and easily toward the top of my (as of yet imaginary and incomprehensive) ranked list of Woody Allen favorites (along with "Hannah & Her Sisters", "Cassandra's Dream" and "Midnight in Paris", not necessarily in that coincidentally chronological order). If only Scarlett Johansson's acting weren't so reprehensible. She at least, practically by default, pulls off her character's goal of being sultrily pouty and buxom, so she's passable, however I feel the need shake her off following her every scene.
-I'm sorry, "The Crow" is just so laughable. This rewatch was its long-delayed second chance and I couldn't quit chortling.

3 comments:

  1. I'd have to say you're dead on with the TRON:Legacy review. That was exactly my take walking out. It was never wonderful, but oh my goodness was it pretty to look at.

    Crazy, Stupid, Love. I should be ashamed, but I liked it. Remember, I had EXTREMELY low expectations going in, and Emma Stone was exactly as fabulous as I expected her to be. I can't say I'd suggest anyone else see it, because it wasn't good, but I laughed more than I expected to and Ryan Gosling is always fun to see without a shirt.

    As for How To Train Your Dragon...I think you were a bit harsh on this one. I thought it was one of the most charming animated movies in years. I saw it three times in theaters and loved it each time. Bless that little dragon's heart.

    Holmes...I have nothing positive to say about this one. I was so looking forward to it, and then was so disappointed. Yes, I'll see the sequel, but have adjusted my expectations accordingly. I have no memory of the music, but will take your word that it was a high point. I recall no high points from my initial viewing.

    Final comment: That seems like a lot of Woody for one month. Was it intentional, or did it just work out that way?

    ReplyDelete
  2. First things first, <3 you for reading and commenting!

    Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were easily the high points of Crazy, Stupid Love. and I particularly liked the scenes they shared. I was already sold on Gosling and his performance helps galvanize my high opinion of him and Stone... well, I'm finally a fan after this one (I probably already told you that).

    I'm typically quite harsh on animated family films... I often find that they tease high concepts only to revel in standard kiddie fare. "How to Train Your Dragon" is the lesser of the recent offenders in my opinion and I did really like the predominantly dialogue-free scenes between Hiccup and Toothless, but all else was inane and the finale was just bullheaded. Maybe I missed something but in a movie saying that dragons are actually good and it's all just been one big misunderstanding, why are we finishing off with a big battle against the mother of all dragons?

    Yeah, lots of Woody for one month, indeed. I think I may try to pump the brakes on that a bit to avoid overload and maintain the ability to enjoy each of his films to their respective fullest... maybe toss some overdue Rohmer in there (I *still* haven't seen My Night at Maud's). I had seen maybe 7 Woody films prior to Midnight in Paris, but I loved Midnight in Paris so much that it re-sparked my interest in the guy and I just started devouring.

    Keep an eye out for the first weekly one of these on Sunday... we'll see how I like it... I may just wind up reverting to the monthly format :P I don't know if I'm seeing Rise of the (Planet of the) Apes yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll be catching The Change-Up. In the meantime, maybe I'll catch you around!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ha, forgot to add... I'm actually kind of glad you liked Crazy, Stupid, Love.. Proves that my bit of nay-saying prior to your viewing didn't seem to damper the affair! There's little worse than having a movie you're paying for ruined by some jackass telling you it blows before you go in.

    ReplyDelete

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