some very, very short movie review
Some stuff I’ve seen recently.
American Gangster - A huge meh for me. Aside from some great moments between Crowe and Washington toward the end, this is an overlong bore that just really didn’t click with me. 6-ish/10
Kes - A tender, thoughtful film about the hardships of growing up. On par with something like The 400 Blows. Great film. 9/10
2 Fast 2 Furious - Dumb and harmless fun. 6/10
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - Definitely a step down from the first two, particularly because it’s just a completely different experience. Shitty characters get way too much focus. More cars, less horrible acting/obnoxious characters! 5/10
The Wages of Fear - Definitely tense and effective, but really drags. Becomes very redundant. But, it is an undeniably effective thriller. 8/10
Nebraska - Refreshingly genuine and sweet. This one really struck me. Not a landmark film or anything, but one that I have strong feelings for. 9/10
Philomena - Not what I expected at all. Probably the most pleasant surprise of 2013. Most impressive is its religious themes. Dench also steals this show. Along with DBC, definitely the weakest of the BP line-up, which is really saying something. 7/10
Revolutionary Road - Ugh, this one was just flat-out unpleasant. Overbearing, relentless melodrama. I really dig the ending, and Shannon is fucking excellent. Otherwise, just a huge drag that had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head constantly. 4 or 5/10
Bicycle Thieves - Come on, it really doesn’t get much better than this. One of the most powerful films I’ve ever seen, as well as one of the most brutal. Perhaps the most winning ending ever put on film that is so beautifully executed, and shockingly saddening. Great fucking stuff. 9 or 10/10
The Insider - Sharp and well-made, but again: over-long. 8/10
High Plains Drifter - Awesome, awesome stuff. Completely bizarre and surreal, and I loved it. Reminded me here and there of El Topo, which is never a bad thing. A fantastic, dark American western. 9/10
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me - Funniest film ever? Well no, but pretty close. I rarely laugh this hard. An absolute blast that had me throwing laughing fits pretty consistently. The first one never impressed me all that much, but this one really tickled me. Can’t wait to see Goldmember. 8/10
Pretty in Pink - Ew. I hate so much about this movie, yet I can’t help but look back on it pretty fondly. It’s not a bad time, but all the characters are just too fucking much to handle. James Spader blows this thing out of the water though. 6/10
Three Colors: Red - A really fantastic conclusion to the trilogy. White left me feeling really disappointed, to the point that it actually took me something like a year to finally watch Red. But this is definitely the best of the three in my eyes, and quite an accomplishment. Although, I’m not crazy about the ending (I really felt like it cheapened the whole trilogy), it really made me want to go back and blow through all three of these in one day just to be able to fully appreciate the whole thing. 9/10
The Right Stuff - Perfectly realized and balanced. Really a landmark American film, and one that deserves a lot more recognition. Aside from being hilarious and puzzling, this is an epic ensemble piece that really has more to say than it seems. Highly critical of the American government and public, this one is a complete winner. Very often reminded me of The Deer Hunter, for being about a group of men evolving with each other in a changing America. Loved it. 9/10
Thelma & Louise - Did not expect to love this one, but I did! Really unconventional and bleak for what it is. Strikingly funny and touching, filled with some really, really great performances (Davis and Pitt are the standouts), although I really could have done without Keitel. And what a fucking ending! 9/10
Been a great few months! So many new favorites.
Bothers me to hear people complain about the Oscars. The awards have been around forever and nobody ever really gets everything they want to see come out of it. I’ve done my fair share of complaining too, I won’t lie, but I’ll be sure to keep it to a minimum after seeing how annoying it can be. Some movies get in, some movies don’t; and we all should be well-aware by now what kinds of movies get in and what kinds of movies don’t. It’s predictable and loads of great movies get overlooked every year, but it’s really not gunna change any time soon. The constant whining, ugh! And life goes on!
Onward and upward! Such a great year for film and the BP line-up is a testament to that. In my opinion, the two weakest of the bunch are pretty easily Philomena and Dallas Buyers Club, and they’re both incredibly solid films. I must say though, too many nominations for BP. Just feels far less prestigious to get into BP, when just about every film in the running makes it. Anyway, wasn’t I the one just bitching about all the bitching? I’m such a scumbag!!!!
Okay, predictions. Threw alternates in the brackets, so even if I’m wrong, I’m still kinda right. Here we go:
BP - 12 Years a Slave (American Hustle)
Dir - Cuaron (McQueen)
Actor - McConaughey (Ejiofor)
Actress - Blanchette (lol)
Supp Actor - Leto (Fassbender)
Supp Actress - Lawrence (Nyongo)
Orig Screenplay - American Hustle (Her)
Adapted Screenplay - 12 Years a Slave (Captain Phillips? - don’t even really remember what else is for sure nominated)
Looking forward to Sunday night. Although most of these seem pretty straightforward, I’m hoping for a few surprises to make for an interesting show.
Aren’t movies great?!