July 2017. Saw King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Guy Ritchie, 2017). Ritchie tends to be awful (Swept Away, Revolver), he can be great (RocknRolla). Or he can be interesting but flawed. This movie is full of good PoMo ideas and tremendous fun -- but it's uneven. I never want to hear, ever again, that an actor can't become an action hero if he plays gay: look at Charlie Hunnam (remember the UK Queer as Folk?). He's a good actor with a splendid future.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
August 2017. Saw War for the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves, 2017). Stupid French title: La Planète des singes: suprématie. What happened? Seriously, Matt Reeves, what happened? This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And Lord knows I'm not hard to please. Give me nice special effects, a good sci-fi pitch, and I'm happy. But this? Just a revolting succession of sappy clichés and hippie stereotypes, making you wonder if it was meant strictly for preschoolers (who'd probably be as bored as I was anyway). Not so-bad-it's-good, not funny, nothing. Just long and lethal. What a waste of money. Makes one wish they'd left the franchise alone back then, honestly.
October 2014. Saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves, 2014). Acceptable movie. Effective. As IMDb says, "A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier."
Always nice to see Gary Oldman.
Always nice to see Gary Oldman.
August 2017. Saw Bell Book and Candle (Richard Quine, 1958). Stupid French title L'adorable voisine. 1958: a great year for Kim Novak and James Stewart, Hitchcock's Vertigo and this. Delightful comedy about a witch and a publisher. She's not quite as blond as I would like, but she's gorgeous. She wears a lot of black and red (and leopard skin!) and her eyebrows are wicked. Quine also directed Paris When It Sizzles (1964). Bell Book and Candle: I hadn't seen this little gem in years. The picture with the cat Pyewacket is a classic -- great scene.
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
June 2017. Saw Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017). I'd only been waiting for it for a few decades. So, of course, I had high expectations. My first problem with this movie is that it was sold to us as a feminist movie. Usually, a movie comes out, and then feminists decide if it's a feminist movie or not. Oh, wait, that was in the modern age, right? Then again, it was up to viewers to determine if if was a second-wave or a third-wave feminist movie (those who were prepared to agree that it was indeed feminist). My second problem with this movie is that Diana never stops to ponder the fact that this villain is her brother. My third problem is that she forgets about protecting her secret identity once on the battlefield, with everyone yelling "Diana." I guess that will come in Wonder Woman II. Apart from that, it's not bad. Gal Gadot is quite beautiful and quite believable, Chris Pine is as cute as ever, and the action scenes are quite entertaining. Now I want to see her falling in love with Superman (played by Henry Cavill please), never mind about Lois.
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
June 2013. Saw Beautiful Creatures (Richard LaGravenese, 2013). I had read the OK novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I have to read all the successful teen products, it's for work, of course. This is the OK movie adaptation (not entirely faithful). Teenage boy and teenage witch fall in love. Nothing to write home about in the treatment, but it has its charming moments. For a rainy afternoon with your younger sister.
February 2017. Saw Hot Pursuit (Anne Fletcher, 2015). Absolutely delightful little action comedy. Not for intellectuals. I have always liked Reese Witherspoon, as I keep saying, but I am passionately in love with Sofia Vergara. She is marvelous in every episode of Modern Family. She is to die for in Machete Kills (Robert Rodriguez, 2013). She is tremendously sexy and funny in this. Many jokes depend on her hyper-femininity, just as many of the Modern Family jokes do. Hurrah for walking caricatures. The alchemy between the two women is perfect. Reese Witherspoon is not very convincing at all in male drag, but I expect she knows that. That sort of movie can actually be used in a Gender Studies class.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
December 2016. Saw Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015). I love Todd Haynes, obviously (I mean, Far from Heaven, Velvet Goldmine...) And I adore Cate Blanchett. I don't know if it's because this is a Patricia Highsmith adaptation or something, but I wasn't bowled over this time. Aesthetically pleasing, historically interesting, Cate-Blanchett-Beauty-and-Talent-highlighting, but I didn't scream with cinematic joy. In a way it feels like Haynes said, well, now that I've done the 1950s gay thing with Far from Heaven, I'm gonna do the lesbian one! Worth seeing, though, clearly.
Watching television series: This Is Us. Showrunner Dan Fogelman. Has interesting things to say about race, gender, fat, etc. Endearing characters. I recommend Justin Hartley making fun of his own "hotness" in very metaleptic bits.
Monday, January 09, 2017
December 2016. Saw Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016). Not my favorite Jarmusch, but, hey, it's Jarmusch, so it's interesting anyway. A bit slow and eventless, but that's the whole point. It's beautiful and poetic while at the same time beautifully poetic and poetically meta. Fine acting. Depending on your mood, you might think, hey, this is a movie about a loser bus driver who thinks he can write poetry, or you might see it all as a marvelous story about a poet who drives buses. The artist / baker child wife is not as spot-on, but I don't think the treatment is sexist. Adam Driver is definitely not your typical Hollywood looker, but that's why independent filmmakers go for him.
February 2014. Saw Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013). Jarmusch is a genius, but not all his films delight me equally. This one is absolutely indispensable. Totally Jarmusch. I've always been a huge fan of vampire stories, but this one is something else altogether. Tilda Swinton is sublime. The way Jarmusch uses Detroit and Tangier tremendous. Highly recommended.
January 2017. Saw Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016). This is a French film, so of course there are problems with the rhythm. Slow and weird, but a good film, mostly because Kristen Stewart is absolutely perfect, and obviously inspired Assayas in the strongest way. In the end it doesn't matter if there are ghosts or not. It doesn't matter who killed whom. What is interesting is the way Stewart's character Maureen reacts.
June 2010. Saw Blood and Chocolate (Katja von Garnier, 2007). Stupid French title Le Goût du sang. I like werewolf movies, and I like Hugh Dancy very much (and Olivier Martinez, to a lesser extent). But this is a disgrace. Terrible movie. I guess more charitable people would say all the awkward moments are tributes to old movies, I just think it's lazy. Yawn.
June 2010. Saw The Invisible (David S. Goyer, 2007). Justin Chatwin is an interesting actor. I liked him as Cam Hawthorne in American Gothic, among other things. The Invisible is not a bad movie. Goyer wrote several superhero movies, but this is no superhero movie. "A teenager is left invisible to the living after an attack" (IMDb) Quite gripping, really even if it's a bit corny.
Watching television series
American Horror Story
The Good Place
Queen of the South
Fear the Walking Dead