Monday, November 21, 2011
Burly Movies 2011 Edition
The magic of movies, as it's referred. Honestly, I haven't seen much magic this year. I figured to at least point to all the highlights I've seen. Particularly now, right before we're deluded with the Oscar-bait bullshit over the Holidays.
The notable in-theatre flicks: DRIVE with Ryan Gosling, outstanding character study slash sequel to Walter Hill's THE DRIVER (1978). Best head-kicking-in scene ever. Top notch in every way.
Malick's TREE OF LIFE, probably one of the most amazing movies I've ever seen. Brad Pitt is consummate. Anyone who isn't devastated after this movie is a f*cking brain-sucking mutant who should be hunted with pitchforks and shotguns.
HORRIBLE BOSSES: funny, but a bit unreal even by comedy standards. You can go with it, and enjoy for the most part.
That's it for the best at-the-movies. Saw CAPTAIN AMERICA and HANGOVER 2, but wouldn't say they were worth a ticket. As with a lot of Hollywood product, serviceable and mostly forgettable.
On DVD this year:
BLACK SWAN, which didn't shatter my world but still impacted enough to leave a moon crater.
THE LAST EXORCISM was way better than I thought it'd be.
THE AMERICAN with my man crush George Clooney, way worse.
THE TOWN was solid, solidly forcing my further adoration of Jeremy Renner, of 28 WEEKS LATER and THE HURT LOCKER, mainly because he's a Jimmy Cagney lookalike pug tough with a soul.
I SAW THE DEVIL, a Korean human monster movie with OLDBOY's Min-Sik Choi, doing what he does best, which is violate your right not to be mangled by his hands.
SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD is the real high concept, the future of comic book movies if they had any creative guts.
CATFISH, touching and creepy and slanderous simultaneously. The internet can hurt you.
SOURCE CODE, loved the concept, eh on the execution, but still way deserving a look.
Of movies on DVD, in general:
Finally saw LAST TANGO IN PARIS (1972.) The movie that verifies most women are evil, especially French women.
Saw three Criterion movies from director Hiroshi Teshigahara, WOMAN IN THE DUNES, PITFALL and THE FACE OF ANOTHER. Surrealist powerhouse flicks from the mid-1960s. Guaranteed you've never seen anything like them.
Lumet's PRINCE OF THE CITY (1981,) pure vicious cigarette burning thrust into eye movie, brilliant in every way.
Gaspar Noe's ENTER THE VOID (2009) doesn't unleash horrid psychological underneaths like his IRREVERSIBLE (2002) did, but attempts to reveal the circle of life. TREE OF LIFE, by way of heroin addiction.
Rhona Mitra's DOOMSDAY, pure fun. Don't even ask for reasons why, because it's obvious.
Freidkin's TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.(1985) was a movie I sort of avoided, considering the soundtrack is by Wang Chung. That's enough to keep me away for thirty years. Then I saw it, utterly blown away, just a great movie, top-five car chase, top-five 1980's naked women. Everything you want or need in a movie.
Also saw Danny Boyle's SUNSHINE (2007) , released what seems a lifetime ago. Solid science fiction, for what that's worth, definitely quality, definitely unnerving. I may not have loved it, but I've thought about it ever since.
On a side DVD tour, watched all first three seasons of "Fringe." Started off hating everyone on the show except for asylum resident Walter Bishop. But once the show's mythology took off, found an interesting set of scenarios to enjoy. Despite some television-level acting, and pure stupidity on the writing side of things, the show still engaged.
Anna Torv, "Fringe"'s Captain Kirk, didn't really affect me at first. But she has a great voice and smiling eyes, and that's usually a combination that wins me over. Amazing woman.
And that's a wrap on Burly Movies so far this year. Unless something changes soon, this will stand as the best of the year's viewings.